The best time to eat dessert, according to the experts

After every great dinner with friends or family, a difficult moment appears. Pie, pudding, or cake arrives at the table, sparkling. But after just devouring the meal, I can’t enjoy the dessert. What do sweet lovers do?

We asked this highly scientific question to a panel of registered dietitians to find out what is the best time to eat and enjoy dessert and if there is an ideal time to wait to check your hunger signals.

The perfect time for dessert is…

In my unreserved opinion, this is always the perfect time for dessert, but our experts said otherwise.

Earlier in the day may be better for digestion, according to Sue Elaine Anderson Hines, registered dietitian and founder of 360 Girls & Women. In fact, a post-dinner treat can contribute to acid reflux, heartburn, upset stomach, or just a lack of sleep when enjoyed too close to bedtime.

“It takes about one to two hours to digest carbohydrates (bread, pasta, crackers),” Anderson Haynes tells HuffPost. If you add more ingredients like protein and fat, you increase digestion time. Most sweets contain high amounts of fat and carbohydrates (added sugar, flour, etc.). “

Pudding is part celebration, fun, and pure pleasure, so if you want to eat it later in the day or evening, that’s okay too, according to a registered dietitian. Elissa Ramzy. ““You can have dessert any time of the day you want,” Rumsey says. “If you adapt your body to help decide what you want to eat and you are hungry for dessert, eat dessert! Oftentimes people restrict sweets or sweets during the day, even if they crave them, which can lead to them feeling out of control over sweets at night. later in the day.”

Meaning: Enjoy dessert if you like it! Kimberly Rose Francis, a registered dietitian, explains that it’s better to have sweets than obsess over them for your mental and physical health. “Depriving yourself can lead to excessive indulgence and psychological guilt later,” Rose Francis says. “Latest 2020 research article He concluded that “the expectation of delicious foods, such as dessert, can alter healthy food preferences for immediate consumption.”

20 minute rule

If you’re asked to wait before eating another portion or eating a dessert, there’s a reason backed by research: The brain takes about 20 minutes to register fullness.

“It may take a while for your stomach to communicate with our brains that you’re physically full, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat dessert right after a meal,” Rumsey says. “However, if you often find that you finish dessert and then feel full afterwards, you can try waiting 10 or 15 minutes to see how that feels.”

Eating a cookie may help if you crave it earlier in the day, rather than waiting until bedtime.

Kieran Stone via Getty Images

Eating a cookie may help if you crave it earlier in the day, rather than waiting until bedtime.

Try to eat slowly and attentively, avoid electronic distractions and enjoy your meal at the table. Rose-Francis suggests: “As a best practice, use mindful eating techniques: first, chew your food slowly. second, chew your food thoroughly; and third, check your body for the information it is giving you. Taking these steps will allow you to know if you have the craving and/or Or a place to eat dessert.”

Why is there always a place for dessert

Even if you wait 20 minutes and feel full, the often referred to “candy stomach” may have extra space. This second stomach is more mental than physical, but that doesn’t make it any less realistic.

“There are two pathways that control our eating,” Rose Francis explains. “The first pathway is the homeostasis pathway, which motivates us to eat when we are really hungry. The second pathway that controls our food intake is the pleasure pathway.”

This means that eating is not only for nutrition but for pleasure as well. “Just because you’re physically full doesn’t mean you’ve necessarily finished eating,” Rumsey explains. “Meals and snacks should also be satisfying so we feel like we’re done eating.” A balance of three key nutrients – carbohydrates, proteins and fats – can help ensure you feel full.

According to Rumsey, searching the after-dinner pantry for your favorite cookie or chocolate may indicate that your meal wasn’t satisfying. Adhering to a restrictive or boring diet may be the cause. “If you often feel full after eating dessert, write it down and check in: Have you eaten enough earlier in the day and for the past several days? Have you restricted sweets or sweets? Were the foods you ate earlier in the day satisfying? Do you eat enough carbohydrates?” She explained.

If thoughts or feelings of shame, guilt, or judgment arise, it can also take away the pleasure and satisfaction you might get from dessert. If you enjoy eating something sweet after meals (even when you’re full), you should know that it’s okay.

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