During adulthood, proponents of a healthy lifestyle and fitness gurus usually recommend cutting sugar from your diet. They teach, instead, that you should opt for healthier dessert alternatives to improve your eating habits. There is merit to this mindset, of course. But Registered Dietician Brigitte Zeitlin says that it’s also crucial to a healthy lifestyle to have a little treat each day.

Yes, you read that right. Desserts have health benefits and are actually good for you. And it’s not just the dark chocolate kind, too. Consuming cake, ice cream, cookies and chocolate in moderation is beneficial to maintaining healthy eating habits. In Australia, ice cream cakes are a dessert fan favourite for the taste and satisfaction they bring.

Here’s why it’s actually good to have your cake and eat it, too.

Your Love For Desserts is Backed by Science

Ever notice that no matter how full you are from lunch or dinner, you always find yourself saying ‘yes’ to that slice of chocolate cake for dessert? Well, that’s because of your ‘dessert stomach.’ It’s the room you always seem to have when the time for sweets come around. But there’s more to this than just having a big appetite.

The director for the Centre for Advanced Sensory Science at Deakin University says that the reason behind this is a phenomenon called sensory-specific satiety. This basically means that your taste buds, after eating a hearty meal, have overcome the wanting for hot and savoury food. When you are presented with different flavours, pleasure overrides the satiety signals, making you crave the dessert.

Chocolate is Good for You

A study presented to the European Society of Cardiology showed that of half a million adults, those who ate chocolate in moderation had a lower risk of heart problems than those who didn’t. Dark chocolate, in specific, is commonly known to be good for maintaining low to normal blood pressure. It contains properties that can help protect the heart and prevent hypertension.

Having Dessert Satisfies Your Sweet Tooth

Cakes

Getting dessert after a meal doesn’t mean you’re letting yourself go. In fact, it helps in developing portion control, as you don’t have to restrict yourself from sweets. It eliminates the need for cheat meals, which creates a tendency for you to overindulge.

It Motivates You To Stay Active

As said earlier, having an occasional treat never hurt anybody. So if you decide to eat that slice of cake or brownie square after lunch, you will also likely make a conscious decision to do something to burn it off after. Apart from sweating out your sugar intake of the day, going for a run after work can bring extra health benefits, as well.

The next time someone offers you dessert, don’t hesitate – instead, look at it as a way to curb further cravings and also as a reason to work out. Indulge yourself in sweet treats without the guilt. But remember. the key is moderation. After all, your love for the occasional dessert comes naturally.