ARTICLE

The Scientific Truth About Dessert

If you need yet another reason why you shouldn't skip dessert, here’s one that’s backed up by science.

Renée
May 22, 2019
60 likes

What’s the Deal with “Dessert Stomach”?

Those second and third helpings finally wore you down, and you’re full after a satisfying meal. You’re pretty much bursting at the seams and contemplating whether or not getting up out of your chair, or literally moving at all, is even worth doing when… someone brings up the diet-wrecking D-word. You guessed it: dessert. Magically, you’re not feeling so full anymore. Before you know it, your stomach and mouth are both saying “yes!” to a sweet serving of cake. It’s easy to dismiss this as some unexplainable phenomenon, but there’s actually a purely scientific reason behind why we seem to have an extra stomach reserved just for dessert.

Yep, It’s Purely Scientific

If you’ve ever wondered why picking up that dessert menu somehow magically makes you feel not so full anymore, we got you: the answer lies in our physiology. After a certain amount of food, our brain usually sends signals to our bodies that triggers the feeling of fullness that we’re all too familiar with after a particularly good meal. But, dessert can mess with that feeling that has us putting our forks down and declaring ourselves stuffed. As we all know, the stomach is a pretty flexible organ and can expand to fit excess food we might eat.

Here’s where sugar comes into play: it essentially is able to trigger your stomach’s relaxation reflexes and tricks your body into feeling like it’s less full. So with just a bite, your stomach can quite literally make room for dessert! Pretty cool, huh? Plus, our brains get ‘excited’ by a new taste (ie sugar), which is why after the meal your stomach can open up to ice cream, but not pasta.

So, Should We Ditch Dessert?

Given this info, we know that sugar can be effective in making you feel less full. A few bites of cake or ice cream won’t hurt and can make you feel less stuffed. But if you feel like that meal is sitting in your stomach like a rock, watch out if you’re contemplating ordering something sweet since there is a delay between when we’re eating and that uncomfortable feeling of fullness. It’s all about moderation!

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