Chocolate is an all-time favorite treat, so a lot of us will happily believe just about anything to feel okay indulging in it when we know we shouldn’t. This is why we look the other way as we guiltily order a mocha latte, thinking that this isn’t quite the same as eating a piece of chocolate, or give out a sigh of relief when we see the low-fat label on a box of chocolate yogurts.
It is an accepted medical truth that chocolate protects against heart disease by restoring flexibility in arteries and preventing white blood cells from adhering to blood vessel walls and aiding in a reduction of blockages. But beneath that luscious chocolate exterior there may be something darker lurking.
Heart protection versus weight gain.
Despite the heart healthy benefits, chocolate – any chocolate – is mixed with sugar and packs a mighty caloric wallop on consumption. Even the healthiest of chocolates have about 160 calories per ounce of dark candy treat. On a calorie restricted medical weight loss diet it doesn’t take much chocolate to use up your limit for the day.
Once you start …
Chocolate cravings are not myth. Chocolate is recognized as the most frequent target of uncontrolled cravings most likely because of the sugar and psychoactive compounds hidden in the chocolate like anandamide, caffeine and theobromine. While not a true “addiction” it can certainly evoke a powerful desire in some people.
Your body won’t thank you
Few foods are associated with such a list of negative side effects as chocolate. Increased anxiety, diarrhea, worsening reflux disease (GERD) migraine headaches and worsening irritable bowel syndrome all add up to a significant toll for some.
Most of the medical advice pertaining to chocolate is to limit intake and stay with the darkest chocolate you can find. Despite a few protective features in chocolate, it is unlikely that anyone really experience significant benefits from a diet high in dark chocolate. Except, of course, for the people that sell it.