Occasional treats

Desserts are sweet dishes that traditionally are eaten at end of meals. But they have added refined sugars and may have saturated fats.

Therefore, they are unhealthy. Should they be eaten as occasional treats or can they be consumed daily?

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Desserts and mood

Desserts are mood elevators. They are self-indulgence. And they are an incentive and bribe. People eagerly look forward to them. It is a habit and a tradition to eat them at the end of meals.

Some like to have them at the start of meals or in between. Most dessert food items are sugary or contain unhealthy fats.

They can be made healthier by using artificial sweeteners and healthy fat substitutes. But despite that, they can have a lot of calories and suppress appetite and hunger.

Occasional treats
Desserts elevate mood and make us happy (Source: Pinterest)

Occasional treatsTherefore, considering these facts, many cultures do not practice having sweets at end of meals. Cultures of Chinese and African countries are bereft of this habit. They have sweets but as occasional treats.

It is not a routine there to consume them religiously and daily. Therefore, we come to the next burning question: is consuming sweets daily healthy? Should one have it only sometimes?

What do dietitians say?

Nutritionists are not against desserts consumption daily. They consume sweets after food regularly. They believe that it is a human craving and urge to eat sweets.

And that deprivation or restriction does not help. Limiting foods that you crave is not a healthy lifestyle. They know that when we deprive the body of a certain food item that we like, we binge on it later.

Hence, we end up eating more and beyond limits at that time. This upsets our gut and body and is an unhealthy practice. Hence it is better to have a small portion of sweets daily rather than binging at one time unhealthily.

Occasional treats
Sweets and fun (Source: Food)

Consuming them regularly also keeps our minds happy. It helps and benefits our body and does not affect weight loss. One can remain slim and trim even after consuming dessert daily after meals in moderation.

A study carried out by the University of Arizona also revealed that eating desserts with supper has advantages. The benefits are outlined here. Read this link

Desserts: occasional treats or daily? How much is healthy?

Since sweets have added sugars in refined form and also saturated fats, consume them but in moderation. Eat a small portion of the sweet and do not overindulge.

Make it a practice to do more exercise if you have eaten more sweets during some occasions or celebrations.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum permissible amount of added sugars you can healthily consume in a day varies as per gender and age.

In an adult male, this is 37.5 grams of 9 teaspoons. This would give around 150 calories per day for men. And women should have no more than 100 calories per day from table sugar.

This implies 25 grams or 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. If the sweet food has saturated fats, eat just that much amount so that your saturated fat consumption does not exceed 15 grams in a day.

If you have a sweet tooth, opt for healthier options such as berries, dark chocolate, chia seeds products, sugar-free chewing gums, legume sweets, and flavored yogurts. Limit the portions and frequency per week. Ice cream you can have twice a week.

Occasional treats
Sweets can be had daily but in moderation (Source: Delish)

Read more: What is cloud bread? Is it healthy?

Even on weight loss, you can have great or cheat meals. It is scientifically allowed and is part of many weight loss diet plans. It does not hinder the weight loss strategy of the regime.

But remember moderation in sweet consumption and exercise are to be part of the diet plan. Excess sweets might reverse weight loss and give other health issues as well such as diabetes, raised blood cholesterol, and heart risks.