Dessert is the single most important meal of the day. You might find yourself daydreaming about the mint chocolate chip ice cream sundae you’re going to make for yourself after dinner countless times a day. But then you catch yourself and guiltily murmur, “but it’s bad for me,” or “if I eat that, I’m going to have to run an extra mile tomorrow.”
Dessert isn’t all that bad. As long as you practice the act of eating dessert in moderation, you’ll actually find that dessert can have long-term effects that aren’t borderline obesity and a crying session at the gym the following morning.
It goes without saying that too much sugar will lead to a sugar high… and then a very painful crash. But just the right amount of sugar can actually provide unthinkable benefits.
A study done in 2012 showed that a few pieces of chocolate a day reduces the risk of stroke. The study included 37,000 men from the age of 45-79 and their diets over the course of 10 years. The men who ate the most chocolate were 17% less likely to suffer from a stroke than those that avoided chocolate altogether. That means your chocolate kiss stash in the smallest pocket of your backpack actually has health benefits.
Dessert for breakfast is officially acceptable. Research done at Tel Aviv University found that eating sweet treats such as cookies and cake can actually lead to weight loss. Who needs the gym when you can have cake for breakfast, right?
The study examined 200 adults on low-cal diets, some of whom ate a high-cal breakfast alongside a cookie or slice of cake while others ate a low-cal breakfast and were left without a treat. The adults that were treated with sugar early in the morning admitted to fewer cravings during the day, leading to less binge eating. Cake for breakfast every day won’t do the job for you, but if you’re lucky, you might be able to snag a piece a couple of days a week.
Similarly, just being conscious about what you’re eating can help you avoid those extra pounds that you dread. Savor your dessert instead of tossing back several brownies like it’s your job.
Another excuse to have that extra piece of dark chocolate Hershey’s bar: chocolate lowers blood pressure. Several studies show that eating between 3 and 100 grams of dark chocolate lower blood pressure just a tad.
Not that you needed an extra excuse to prowl around your kitchen cabinets for chocolate bars and marshmallows to throw together an impulsive S’more, but now you don’t have to feel guilty about it the next morning (not that you ever should feel guilty about eating dessert). If you think about it, you’re actually doing yourself a favor.