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EOCC: How Sweet it Is

First things first...dessert that is!


Do you often resist the temptation of a luscious dessert because you are counting calories or opting to make healthier choices? I know I did. It is time to blow your mind and rewire your brain. According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, choosing that decadent dessert first might actually be good for you, allowing you make healthier food choices overall!

Researchers tested how the presentation order of food affected food choice, experimenting in a cafeteria and online ordering. One hundred thirty-four university faculty, staff and graduate students participating were offered a choice of four different dessert options over four days, including fresh fruit.

Seventy percent of the participants selecting cheesecake went on to make healthier main dish choices and overall consumed about 250 fewer calories than those selecting the fruit option. Martin Reimann, an assistant professor at University of Arizona and co-author of the study, suggested that choosing a healthy option first gives a person license to make a healthier selection later.

He later told Bicycling Magazine that "healthy items can signal progress toward a goal and therefore, make individuals more likely to license themselves to choose subsequent less healthy items." If you felt like you made all the right choices with a healthy meal, then it gives you open season on rewarding yourself with an indulgent dessert, often resulting in consuming more calories. But if you treat yourself first, you are more likely to make smarter choices for your main meal reducing your calorie intake.

Testing the theory, registered dietitian Cynthia Sass was asked to evaluate the accuracy of the study for Eat This, Not That! She said that "adopting this kind of balance or give-and-take kind of system is much healthier and more sustainable than having an all or nothing kind of mindset." The study suggests that we may naturally gravitate balance unless we are distracted. Sass teaches her clients this as a strategy, so it is a thoughtful action rather than blind grazing.

What distracts or derails a natural balance? Sass categorizes key areas of derailment as:

  • Emotional eating for comfort or celebrating
  • Social eating copying what friends are eating
  • Habit in eating what you always eat when dining out
  • Environmental which includes advertisements, visual tabletops or servers offering the days specials

Overall, Sass agrees with the findings of the study.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University surveyed 200 adults on low-calorie diets offering a 600-calorie breakfast with sweets to half the participants and 300 calorie meals to the others. While both groups lost weight, those eating sweets reported fewer craving and less hunger throughout the day as well as sustained weight loss. Another study from the Endocrine Society confirmed similar results.

Need more reasons to consider room for dessert? A few bits of chocolate each day could decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease down the line. Chocolate rich in cocoa (unsweetened or dark chocolate) has a high concentration of flavonoids, an antioxidant offering anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. A Swedish study showed that eating 10 grams of dark chocolate containing 65-70 percent cocoa reduces your chance of stroke by 17 percent.

Hungry for more? The East Orlando Chamber of Commerce (EOCC) has just the perfect recipe to tantalize your taste buds. Chefs Gone Wild, Just Desserts is the culinary highlight of the year featuring member restaurants and caterers showcasing their delicious desserts, specialty coffees and dessert wines. It is a fabulous way to feed your sweet tooth and nonstop networking. Secure your tickets early and bring friends for decadent dessert dining you won't soon forget. It's just what the doctor ordered.

Speaking of doctors, are you an Independent Physician seeking ways to increase exposure, revenue, and attract talent to grow with your practice? Joining the East Orlando Chamber, becoming actively involved in all it has to offer is the perfect way to start. Give us a call at 407-277-5951 or visit our website at Your Business is Our Business.

Dorothy Hardee is the administrator of East Orlando Chamber of Commerce. Contact her at







Chamber Luncheon Featuring Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings

His Vision for the Future of Orlando

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11:30 AM - 1:15 PM

Holiday Inn Orlando Airport

5750 T. G. Lee Blvd., Orlando, FL 32822


Coffee Club Semoran at Bonefish Grill Orlando Gateway

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8:30 - 9:30 AM

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5463 Orlando Gateway Village Gateway, Orlando, FL 32812


EOCC Connect 4 Property Professional Networking

Thursday, September 19, 2019

4:30 - 6:00 PM

Bonefish Grill Lake Underhill

12301 Lake Underhill Road, Orlando, FL 32828

Free for EOCC Members - $10 for non-members


Coffee Club Nona at Sam's Club

Small Group Day

Thursday, September 26, 2019

8:30 - 9:30 AM

Sam's Club Lake Nona

11920 Narcoossee Road, Orlando, FL 32832

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