Food & Nutrition

Is Eating a Ton of Ice Cream in One Sitting Worse for You Than Eating a Little Every Night?

Wondering how your sweets stack up? Health's contributing medical editor weighs in.

Wondering what’s worse, eating a whole pint of ice cream at once or a little bit each night? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t clear-cut. Some research suggests that every-so-often binges can increase your metabolism slightly so that you may gain less weight than if you were to spread those calories out over a handful of meals. However, it isn’t guaranteed that everyone’s body will react the same way, and for some (like people with type 2 diabetes), a steep blood sugar spike might actually be dangerous. Another potential snag is that these types of feeding frenzies have the potential to trigger future cravings. That’s because the more sugar we consume, the more likely it is that our taste buds could become desensitized to sweets. As a result, we may need more and more sugar to satisfy a sweet tooth over time. One other thing to consider: Chances are you probably won’t feel stellar after polishing off an entire pint and might even experience some bloating and abdominal pain.

Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is an associate professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and a cofounder of TULA Skincare.

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