The perks of dessert

Illustration by Miles Huffman

Stop feeling guilty for eating that girl-scout cookie!

Whether a home-cooked meal, fine dining or Sutter dining, everyone should eat a little unhealthy each day because it’s good for you.

I’ve always been a motivated athlete and dedicated student, so my life habits have always been physically and intellectually healthy. But settling down in Chico, where I grocery shop and cook or microwave every meal on my own has raised awareness of my once unhealthy diet.

Two years ago I loved carbohydrates – anything in my pantry that came in a cardboard box. I had no idea I could boil vegetables on the stove in five minutes – only twice the time it takes to zap a hot pocket in the microwave oven.

A lot of fad diets tell people exactly what and what not to eat. But there are a lot of diets and no diet is the same, so which diet do people follow?

Eating healthy is confusing!

I’m no professional, but I’ve studied and experimented with a number of diets due to a personal interest in health. In my experience, it’s healthy to eat a little unhealthy.

A daily dose of candy will satisfy cravings, prevent binge eating and even release dopamine into the brain.

People want what they cannot have. Attempting to cut conventionally unhealthy foods out of one’s diet altogether is a recipe for binge eating: what used to be a couple scoops per day of Haagen Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle ice cream becomes half a quart in one sitting; which is much unhealthier than one serving a day.

The simple act of eating releases more dopamine than most anything but sex. If one is eating a balanced diet, they deserve a small and pleasurable reward each day. Satisfy that sweet tooth and then continue with the veggies.

For all health buffs who have submersed that sweet tooth, eat a caramelized apple and remember what it feels like to taste sugar.

A balanced diet includes junk food.

Miles Inserra can be reached at [email protected] and @m_inserra on Twitter