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Go 'dessert' first to eat healthy, says study

PW Bureau 

According to a new study, opting for high-calorie food first may lead to eating lower-calorie, healthier main dishes in a meal New York: Until now, all sweet-tooth cravings were deemed to be dietary villains. Switching to a healthy diet meant letting go of these high-calorie options. But if desserts, cheesecakes and burgers are hard for you to let go off, a new research will give you some heart. According to a new study, opting for high-calorie food first may lead to eating lower-calorie, healthier main dishes in a meal. “We believe diners who chose the indulgent dessert first then picked healthier main and side dishes to make up for their high-calorie dessert,” said Martin Reimann, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona in the United States. “Diners who picked the healthier dessert may have thought they already had done a good deed for their bodies so they deserved higher-calorie food further down the cafeteria line.”

The experiment

The experiment was conducted in EGADE Business School cafeteria at the TecnolÃgico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. The study, published by the American Psychological Association, placed either a healthy food item or a less healthy dessert at the start or end of the cafeteria line at the university.

The takeaway

It was observed that the diner chose cheesecake first, followed by lower-calorie main or side dishes and ultimately chose food items with lesser calories than diners who chose the healthier food first. Researchers included 134 diners between the ages of 18 and 60, with an average age of 32, in the study. “People should be aware that their initial food choices and their mindset may affect the overall healthiness of their meals,” suggested Reimann.