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You Don't Have to Skip Dessert to Eat Healthy

By Paul Rothbart

You will often hear nutrition experts say that in order to eat healthy, you have to cut out desserts. While not essential, a little sweetness is a nice way to end a meal. In fact, there are a fair number of people who feel that a meal is not complete without dessert. But desserts are loaded with calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats. We sometimes feel guilty having that piece of cake or pie. But the truth is, desserts are not all bad. You can enjoy a sweet treat without endangering your health. Here are benefits of dessert you may not know. 

Dessert Does Contain Nutrition

A balanced diet is the key to good nutrition. Fresh fruits and vegetables should dominate, but dessert does have some nutritional value. Fruit pies and smoothies contain actual fruit and the nutrition of those ingredients. Many people are deficient in calcium. A half cup of chocolate ice cream contains 72 milligrams of this vital mineral. Cheesecake, as well as ice cream, contains protein, another essential nutrient. The key is moderation. That's why it's called a balanced diet.

Improving Mood

Chocolate has been proven to help reduce stress and improve overall mood. A study conducted at Loma Linda University had students eat chocolate while answering a series of questions concerning stress levels every two weeks. By the end of the study, researchers found that the participants felt less stress as well as happier in general.  Dark chocolate has also been found to help prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, and improve heart health. Once again, it's all about moderation.

Maintain Overall Health and Weight

Contrary to traditional ideas about dessert, a sweet dish now and then can actually be beneficial to maintaining a healthy weight. Eating dessert foods, such as a couple of cookies or a slice of cake, with breakfast has been found to be helpful in maintaining good health. Research using obese participants conducted of the University of Tel Aviv found that eating a breakfast high in protein and carbohydrates that included dessert foods benefited the participants. They were better able to stick to their diets and keep off pounds lost than a group who ate a low-carb breakfast that did not contain sweet foods. The researchers believe this is due to reduced cravings throughout the day. 

A balanced nutritious diet is one of the keys to staying healthy. Traditionally, desserts have been considered taboo, but science has shown that eaten in moderation, sweet foods do have benefits for maintaining weight and good health.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Danville, Calif.

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