When you were a child, did you look at your dessert longingly – and wish you could eat it before eating your broccoli and spinach? Of course, your mom was adamantly against eating dessert first. In this case, mom may have been wrong. According to an article published in Woman’s Day, there are some good reasons to eat dessert first – or at least a few bites. Here’s why.
Eat Dessert First: Why It’s a Good Idea
Whether it’s cheesecake or coconut pie, most desserts have a fair amount of fat. Too much fat isn’t good for you, but a little fat with a meal serves a useful purpose – it helps you absorb fat-soluble vitamin and nutrients better. Fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin A, D, E, and K, can’t do their jobs if they aren’t adequately absorbed from the digestive tract. Other nutrients such as the carotenoids in green, leafy vegetables and sweet potatoes also need fat for best absorption.
That’s where eating dessert first comes in. Taking a few bites of dessert before eating your vegetables helps you absorb vitamins and nutrients better – and that’s a good thing when it comes to your health.
The other advantage of eating dessert first is it delays gastric emptying. This causes you to feel fuller quicker – so you’ll eat less. Of course, you should stick with the rule of only eating a few bites. Downing a whole dessert before you eat your main course and veggies isn’t a good idea since you’ll eat less of the foods that are good for you if you’re too full.
Other Ways to Slow Down Gastric Emptying and Absorb More Nutrients
There are other ways to slow down gastric emptying and help your body absorb more fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients. Eating a few spoonfuls of a cream-based soup just before or with a meal – or eating a salad with olive oil dressing will do the same thing. Olive oil is the healthiest choice of all since it contains heart-healthy fats. But if you’re going to eat dessert anyway, eat a few bites before eating your veggies. Don’t worry your mom will never know.
Woman’s Day magazine. 7/11/00. Page 40.