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Is Chocolate Bad For You?

Consider the Following:

  • Cocoa, which is used to make chocolate, provides phytochemicals. These can improve health by acting as antioxidants. The darker the chocolate, the higher the phytochemical content.
  • Eating chocolate can trigger a release of serotonin within the brain, which contributes to the pleasurable experience. Some people argue that this can cause people to feel "addicted" to chocolate and women to crave chocolate before their menstrual cycle begins.
  • Chocolate provides some vitamins and minerals, like magnesium, that the body needs.
  • Chocolate contains sugar, although the exact amount will vary depending on how the chocolate is prepared and processed. Sugar is a carbohydrate, which the body needs for quick energy and proper brain function. However, excessive intake of sugar can adversely affect health so moderation is important when enjoying chocolate.
  • Chocolate is relatively high in fat. However, the dietary fat in chocolate is called "stearic acid," which does not affect blood lipids as much as some other types of fat.
  • Next time you have a piece of chocolate, allow it to "melt in your mouth" in order to fully appreciate the taste and texture.
  • If you find yourself feeling out of control with chocolate or any other food, you may want to seek further support.