New York, Feb 8 : Do red velvet cheesecake, french fries or fish fries entice you but you refrain from eating those owing to the high-calories they contain? Take heart.
Choosing these high-calorie options first might help you opt for a healthier meal later, says a new research.
The study showed choosing indulgent dessert first may lead to eating lower-calorie meals.
"We believe diners who chose the indulgent dessert first then picked healthier main and side dishes to make up for their high-calorie dessert.
"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," said Martin Reimann, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona in the US.
The experiment was conducted in the cafeteria of the EGADE Business School at the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.
For the study, researchers included 134 diners aged between 18 and 60 with an average age of 32.
They placed either a healthy or less healthy dessert (fresh fruit versus lemon cheesecake).
There were also healthy and less healthy main and side dishes including grilled chicken fajitas and a small salad or fried fish and french fries.
The findings, published by the American Psychological Association, showed that diners who chose the cheesecake first, were twice as likely to order the lighter main dish later and ultimately consumed fewer calories than diners who chose the fresh fruit first.
"People should be aware that their initial food choices and their mindset may affect the overall healthiness of their meals," suggested Reimann.