Chocolate

Eating Dark Chocolate Keeps the Doctors Away!

Indeed, this is quite true, as based on scientific research findings that may very well alter the image of chocolate forever — from junk food to health food! Isn’t it quite refreshing? Millions all over the world would be thrilled to know that the treat they all love is also very beneficial for our health.

So start chanting now, eat chocolate for a healthier you!

Well, before, we start getting excited over this, let us discover what the scientific studies have found out about chocolate, dark chocolate in particular – the type that quite a lot of people favor.

Findings have sufficient proof to declare that dark chocolate contains much more health benefits compared to white chocolate and milk chocolate. These two latter types actually have higher contents of fat and lesser health benefits to consumers.

Dark chocolate, also considered as bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, has been found to be very beneficial for people. One of its foremost benefits is that it enhances your mood and keeps you on a lighter, happier state of emotion. It has serotonin that affects a person much like an anti-depressant would.

So now you have discovered the why your mood becomes visibly improved after a bar of chocolate on a bad day.

Furthermore, aside from soothing us and lightening up our mood, it also improves the flexibility of our blood vessels and thus, eases the circulation of blood in our system.

Another outstanding aspect of chocolate that is very beneficial for people is the fact that nutrients can be found in it that are now known to prevent cancer. Cacao, an ingredient which dark chocolate has in abundance, contains antioxidants that are essential for the body to have in order to fight free radicals that cause heart ailments and other types of diseases.

Flavonoids can be found in chocolate and is a major enemy of free radicals that may come from other foodstuffs ingested by the body or absorbed from the environment. Flavonoids, called Epicatechins and Catechins, help a lot in protecting the body’s immune system. This is why, consuming chocolate with higher cacao content, or consuming dark chocolate for that matter is healthier.

Who would think that even with the delightfully thick and velvety texture of chocolate, minerals are present in it, minerals such as iron and magnesium? Now, you know that even if you cannot resist chocolate, you are not wasting yourself away. As long as you keep it moderate, eating chocolate is perfectly healthy!

The antioxidants in chocolate have been found beneficial for joints and help in reducing pain and stiffness caused by arthritis. Getting better sleep for a well rested you on the following day is another benefits offered by chocolate’s antioxidants. Vitamin B is also present which significantly increase the energy level of the brain and body.

Who says that eating chocolate would increase your calorie consumption leading to higher cholesterol and blood pressure levels? Well, they are mistaken – and what’s best, we have the studies to prove it! Eating dark chocolate actually even helps lower the cholesterol and blood pressure levels of the body. That’s definitely a resounding « Yay! » for all chocolate lovers. Even if chocolate has fats and cholesterol, they are the good kind that does not interfere with production of insulin in the body.

Who says you will become a diabetic if you eat chocolate? These people got it all wrong – a healthy dose of dark chocolate is beneficial for diabetics, who must constantly limit their sugar consumption. Since dark chocolate is low in carbohydrates, it is good for diabetics.

However, citing the health benefits of chocolate does not mean that you have to start eating loads of chocolate now. As in all things, excessiveness is not healthy. Remember to keep things in moderation – especially in consuming your favorite chocolate.

Chocolate-Related Recipes for Kids

It is necessary that parents spend time with their children. Several bonding activities can be thought of to make the experience as memorable as possible. Among others, cooking and baking are good activities to engage in because they tap on all senses of your kid especially if it involves recipes which they can enjoy afterwards. Now, who said kids don’t love chocolate recipes, especially if they are chocolate-related recipes?

Chocolates, aside from the health benefits it can bring such as regulating blood pressure and cholesterol, are nothing but an delectable concoction enjoyed most especially by children. Aside from these physiological benefits, it can also do wonders in your emotional relationship and bond with your kids.

Chocolate Lollipops is a child-friendly chocolate recipe that can give your kids a happy and enjoyable learning experience with you. You will need very simple ingredients and equipment to make these adorable lollipops. The creative ideas of your kids will be needed in designing and decorating the lollipops. While preparing this, it will be nice to tell tales about chocolate to your children—where it originated, how is chocolate done, what it can do to you and other facts that can make your kids love chocolate more.

Ingredients:
1. Blocks of semi-sweet or white chocolate
2. Butter
3. Food color for fun painting
4. Chocolate candies, crispies or sprinkles for decorations

Equipment and Materials:
1. Lollipop mold
2. Straws to be used as lollipop handles
3. Paint brushes for the food coloring
4. Ribbons to be tied in the lollipop handle
5. Cabbage where the kids can stick their lollipops

All the cooking that you need to do is melt the chocolate block and the butter in a heated pan. Once smooth and free of lumps, you may now pour the melted chocolate in the lollipop molds. It would be nice to use children-friendly mold designs such as animal faces, letters or numbers. Have your kids stick the straw at the lower part of the chocolate. Set aside and let it solidify. If already in a semi-solid state, you may ask the children to put candies, sprinkles or crispies for added design. You may put it in the refrigerator afterwards for faster solidification. For sure, those little angels will be too excited to wait for the chocolate to harden.

Once the chocolate has hardened, carefully pull each one off the molds. Now the children will have their part. Allow them to paint the chocolate lollipops with food color. Make them design the straws with ribbons. Ask them to give names to their lollipops and before they eat up all those lollipops, invite your children to wash the dishes and wipe the tables used as well. Yes, they need to take part of this process so that they see the entire process of cooking. Ask them nicely and make them see the beauty of the task. This will teach them to be responsible.

Cooking or baking chocolate-related recipes is not only fun for your kids. It is a hands-on training and exposure for them that can teach them a wide array of values while providing the most fun experience for them. It is a great bonding idea with their friends as well so next time you make another batch lollipops or other chocolate recipes such as cupcakes, muffins, chocolate drink or chocolate chip cookies, make room for more kiddies who would want to join your baking session.

Chocolate Related Recipes for Diabetics

There has been a long standing debate whether diabetics could eat chocolates. Maybe there should really be chocolate-related recipes for diabetics. We have to remember that these patients may have been eating chocolates for years before they were diagnosed with the illness and thus might find it quite depriving to say no to chocolates all the time. Some, on the other hand, may simply want to get a bite or two but couldn’t because of this myth.

In reality, diabetics like those with any other illness can eat anything they want – but in moderation. It is a simple truth that is admittedly difficult to follow. It has been called « the forbidden treat » or the « darkest temptations » many times, but there is no use saying that diabetics need to take chocolates completely out of their lives.

There have been researches made in Europe claiming that eating chocolates occasionally and in moderation actually increase insulin response. The catch is that it takes a while for the body to absorb chocolate sugar than those of bread and potatoes so the body has time to adjust the level of reaction to sugar. The only reason for preventing diabetic patients from eating too much chocolate is its ability to cause obesity in so little time. If the diabetic should eat the chocolate as part of a meal or dessert, the body absorbs it even more slowly. So, that could do he trick for diabetic chocolate lovers!

It is likewise unsafe to believe in claims of some products that they are either ‘diabetic chocolate’ or ‘diabetic friendly’. You are still required to look closely and see whether they are using high levels of fructose in place of sugar, because as a diabetic yourself, you may well know that it is just as dangerous. So, given that, we’ve already cleared the air out, and here is a favorite snack that all diabetics can start concocting up and feast on!

CHOCOLATE-MANGO CREAM CAKE

Ingredients
250g/8oz Ground Graham Crackers
150g/5oz milk
1 pack of whole graham crackers
100g/3½oz unsalted butter
150g/5oz dark chocolate
150g/5oz golden syrup
75g/2½oz raisins
100g/3½oz chopped ripe mangoes
30g/1oz cashew, chopped (optional)
60g/2oz pecans, chopped (optional)
350g heavy cream

Method
1. Line the sides of the 8inches shallow pan.
2. Arrange the whole crackers at the bottom of the pan
3. Mix the milk, cream, syrup by hand until fluffy.
4. Melt the chocolate and butter on a double broiler and set aside. The chocolate must neither be too gooey nor too light.
5. Pour in some of the cream on top of the crackers and spread evenly.
6. Drizzle some of the chocolate on top of the cream and arrange the mangoes afterwards
7. Sprinkle some nuts for texture
8. Then pour in some ground graham to integrate the cream, before arranging whole ones again.
9. Repeat the steps until the pan is almost filled to the lid.
10. Lastly, garnish the top with cream mixture and sprinkle with nuts and raisin. If you still have some chocolate left, you may also put some on top.
11. Refrigerate for a minimum of ten minutes to let the graham absorb the cream mixture. The longer it stays in the ref, the better.
12. This serves 12.

A reminder to our diabetic friends, please hold onto yourself from finishing up the whole pan. Share it with friends. It is pretty tempting and it’s okay to give in, but your health comes first before anything. When eating chocolates, make sure you have the best of some chocolate-related recipes for diabetics!

Chocolate-Related Recipes And Diet Restrictions

Delectable, smooth, sweet, calming… ahhhh, that’s the goodness chocolate can bring. Be it a bar or a drink, chocolate can indeed make a person’s day complete. From toddlers to grandmothers, chocolate is truly a treat to beat. It is not called « happy hormones » for nothing. However, there are people who have health conditions or dietary preferences that forbid them to enjoy chocolate. But there are chocolate-related recipes we may be unaware of that would be heaven sent for people with specific health conditions.

Making Chocolates Health-Sensitive

Most chocolate-related recipes make use of the typical and readily-available chocolate in stores, plain, sugar-loaded dairy products. Because of this, the market of the chocolate products is limited to people without restrictions in their diet. However, with today’s relatively unhealthy population, the chocolate industry may be missing out a lot if they do not make their products health-sensitive.

Apparently, the marketing and product development geniuses of these chocolate companies are aware of this and they are not about to give up their share of health-friendly chocolate products in the market. The recent years have witnessed the birth of many health-conscious chocolate products or chocolate recipes which are not just limited to the usual sugar-free and diabetic-friendly ones, but also those which address other health concerns as well.

Allergies to Milk or Chocolates

Those who have allergic reactions to milk can now enjoy fresh cup of Milk-Free Hot Chocolate. Just make sure to purchase a chocolate mix that is dairy-free such as Vance’s. This dairy-free mixture is a corn derivative. To add creaminess to your drink, you may add in vanilla extract or marshmallows.

If brownie bar is a dream which you can not reach because of its corn, dairy and wheat content or even gluten, then wake up from that dream now. You may now bake batch after batch of allergy-free brownies by substituting bananas, vegetable oil, potato and brown rice flour instead to the usual ingredients used in baking brownies.

Chocolates for Vegetarians

Vegetarians say they can not eat chocolate because it is a dairy food and it contains eggs. There are chocolates which are now commercially available that claims to be vegetarian friendly as they do not contain eggs and dairy food. These chocolates are diabetic friendly as well and are available in different flavors such as mint, spicy, pure dark, vanilla bean, citrus, chocolate coconut, pink peppercorn, chocolate crispies, chocolate toasted almond and pure dark organic.

Chocolates, A Natural Anti-Oxidant

Chocolate is naturally an anti-oxidant. However, if you combine it with green tea, then its anti-oxidant power has surely doubled up. This is especially helpful to fight today’s body intoxicating agents found in the various foods we eat.

Green Chocolates

There are also chocolates which claim to be « green ». They are not only health friendly but environment friendly as well. These are chocolates from organically grown cocoa beans. Synthetic fertilizers are not part of processing these types of chocolates. Preservatives are not added as well just so its shelf life can be extended.

Truly, chocolates have certain components which can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and can cause blood-thinning. It is so good that it gets even better with these healthy options which can be used in many other chocolate recipes. With the presence of these types of chocolates which are alternatives to the typical ones, chocolate is coming closer and closer to almost all people, even those who have special health conditions and dietary considerations. Now, why wouldn’t you try concocting some chocolate-related recipes at home, right?

Chocolate Recipes for Pasta, Anyone?

You heard it right, chocolate pasta has been around for many years and was developed in European countries. Have you ever tried nugel kugel, a German dish that combines flat noodles, cinnamon, raisins, pot cheese and sugar? The Italians have recipes quite like that using lasagna and chunks of fruits and not to mention chocolates which really give an awesome unique flavor to the recipe.

Uniqueness of Chocolate Pasta Recipes

These chocolate-related pasta recipes will truly liven up your taste buds, stimulate your very appetite, and really entice you to indulging in it! You will have to try them at least once in your life and I am pretty sure, you will really enjoy it. If you are really interested in chocolate pastas, you can always find one of those special recipes and do them either in your homes, or food establishments such as restaurants.

Knowing the Health Benefits of Both Chocolate and Pasta

But come to think of it, it would be good to also know the health benefits of both pasta and chocolate especially if you are planning to do these delectable and easy-to-do chocolate-pasta recipes!

Anti-oxidants in Chocolates

Yes, there are countless studies conducted to confirm that chocolate contains antioxidants. And many of them have established that antioxidants in chocolates are comparatively high in both quantity and quality. This alone proved that indeed, there are significant health benefits to these sweet goodies.

Did you even know that it is the cocoa that leads the choco pack, followed by the dark chocolates and then lastly, the milk chocolates? It was even detailed out by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association that the dark chocolates have even higher antioxidant content, eight times over the antioxidant content of strawberries.

Chocolates and Pasta Bring Higher HDL

In November of 2001, a research team from Pennsylvania State University established that people who eat and drink greater amounts of cocoa and dark chocolates are found to acquire a little higher concentrations of the good cholesterol, also known as the HDL.

Even pasta, the whole-grain energy foods that are commonly linked to heart disease risks are found to have higher concentrations of HDL which makes pasta boast of its ability to reduce risk factors by a significant 26%. Generally, foods rich in fiber like pasta and oats are often associated with lowering cholesterol and therefore protect people against developing coronary heart disease in both men and women.

Chocolates on Lower Blood Pressure

Furthermore, there is another study printed in the Hypertension journal last August 2005, figured out that indeed dark chocolates have the capability to lower a person’s blood pressure, especially those suffering from hypertension. The experts also found out that the levels of LDL cholesterol, or the bad cholesterol we do not like, can actually be found in people who eat significant amounts of chocolates. So, what are all these things trying to tell us?

Well, bottom line is chocolates are full of natural ingredients beneficial for people’s health. It doesn’t necessarily mean though that we will get maximum benefits from chocolate products that we will allow ourselves to eat too much! And the pasta? Are their health benefits at par with the benefits we can get from chocolates? The answer is yes. Now, isn’t it a delightful chocolate-related recipe that you must try for your kids, your friends and your family? Try making it in your homes and see what a perfect bonding opportunity this is for you and your loved ones!

Chocolate Lovers Should Stay Happy and Healthy

Do you ever wonder why there are some people who pamper themselves with chocolates the moment the feeling of sadness strikes and they feel down? But what is it really with chocolates that enable a person’s happiness to be triggered and stimulated? These are very interesting questions especially for a chocolate lover like me!

And why are toddlers and big kids getting too hyperactive every time they have eaten chocolates in less than an hour? Maybe it is not just the sweetness of the chocolates that make us happy and perks us all up, but something only medical science can explain to us. And as studies have shown, there are really some components in chocolates that actually give us that heart-pounding, mood elevating and breath-enhancing experience. And for parents of toddlers and young children who go extreme after some bites of their favorite chocolates, that is one thing hey are dying to know. Researching and learning about these things can actually bring you some peace and quiet in the house!

Since we know that all chocolates are very high in caffeine content, a natural substance that elevates our blood pressure, makes us breathe a little faster and gives us a higher level of awareness, we are also aware that there are possible effects to our health, positive or negative. Other chemical studies have shown components that evoke similar effect as that of marijuana. Although it is likened to the « same high », the chemicals have been found to be non-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so you’re not breaking any law by eating chocolates. Plus, you will have to eat about 25-30 lbs of chocolates before you get the exact marijuana high that you will get from smoking the real thing.

But however love and passion you have for chocolates, you must always be conscious of their possible effects later on in your lives. You must keep your love for chocolates in check, even though there are no clear addictive proofs that can affect your mental health. While the body more slowly absorbs sugar from chocolates than any other foods, you have to keep in mind that too much may cause obesity and increase your chances of acquiring or worsening diabetes.

So, whether you call yourself a chocolate lover or a chocoholic doesn’t really matter. We all have a soft spot for chocolates; we just have to remember that nothing beats moderation – in life and in health. Here is a recipe where you can be health-conscious and at the same time, satisfy your hunger for chocolates.

Fettuccine with Chocolate Sauce

Ingredients
• 8 ounces regular or chocolate fettuccine
• 2 cups skim milk, divided
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preparation
1. Cook and drain pasta.
2. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup milk and cornstarch, mixing until smooth. Add cocoa, sugar, cinnamon and remaining milk.
3. Heat just until boiling, stirring constantly.
4. Cook one minute until sauce is thickened.
5. Pour sauce over pasta and combine.
6. Top each serving with your choice of crème fraîche, sour cream or vanilla yogurt.

Truly, regular pasta has just become more interesting! Now you’ve combined your favorite chocolate with a satisfying meal of energy-giving pasta! Who would have thought that this chocolate recipe could be this phenomenal?

Chocolate Lovers Owe it to History

Despite the ongoing recession we have today, a brave projection of a 2011 sales for American chocolates reached about $18 million. Apparently, the dwindling market has not affected the appetite of consumers when it comes to these delicate sweets. Chocolate lovers owe it to the history of chocolates. Chocolates have been pre-recorded and its popularity was never once questioned. In fact, if the numbers are right, people are finding more ways to make use of chocolate other than satisfy wonderful craving for the tempting.

Food for the Gods

Thank God for chocolates! As a chocolate lover, my curiosity was piqued when I had a bite of the macadamia chocolates that I really love! Since then I knew that chocolates have originated from the Amazon were the first cocoas were discovered in 2000 BC. Largely used by the Maya Culture, the word chocolate came from xocoatl meaning bitter water. The Mayas love for cocoa was imprinted in history thru the wood carvings discovered dating all the way back to about 300AD, showing pictures of cocoa pods. The Mayan territory expanded in 600AD and they took their cocoa with them to the northern parts of South America until their wanderings took them to the Guatemalan shores. This area became birthing soil to large cocoa plantations where the pods are often presented as holy matters in rituals. They believe cocoa to be food exclusive for the consumption of gods.

Dark Waters in Gold Goblets

The hot xocoatl, a dark drink that is sweet to the taste, was regarded by Aztecs and Mayans to be a health sustaining drink and used it for many medicinal purposes. They also believed that drinking the dark juice or eating the fruits would bring them wisdom. Even then, the natives believed in xocoatl’s nourishing powers. Their leaders drank gallons of dark chocolate dyed in red. Those were served in gold goblets.

The Bean Pay Ups

Because of its popularity and importance, the cocoa beans even became a form of currency among Mayans and Aztecs. They used cocoa beans to sell, trade and buy commodities during the earlier times.

In 1492, Columbus presented King Ferdinand and his Queen with cocoas upon his return but very little attention was given to them and even on his journey in search for spices in India, Columbus didn’t realize the great potential of the chocolate. Otherwise, he could have been the one who discovered and announced the immense potential of such sweets.

And so more and more people have begun using the sweet chocolates as an important currency signifying wealth depending on the vastness of plantations owned. In fact, an explorer by the name of Hernando de Oviedo y Valdez claimed to have bought slaves and prostitutes using cocoa pods.

And in 1519, some parts of Mexico were eventually conquered by Hernando Cortez who was fascinated by xocoatl more for its currency value than its taste. At that time, the taste of the chocolates was a little bit bitter sweet and spicy. Leaning further that cultivating the cocoa tree is obviously a great business, he established multiple plantations thereby cultivating money for Spain.

Really, I can never imagine a world without these sweet fanciful delicacies in my life. As a chocolate lover, I have always had the yearning to discover new kinds of chocolates each day if possible. May they be regular or ordinary chocolates, gourmet chocolates or home-made but exceptionally delectable chocolates, my love and passion for hem will always be there!

Chocolate Lovers Just Can’t Get Enough

For so many years, men have put such great esteem for chocolates. There were moments in the history of chocolates that only the nobles were allowed to experience its wonderful taste. But those are the olden days, and gone were those days!

Today, huge chocolate factories and small but respected confectionaries allow the public to enjoy as much chocolate as they want, in amazing colors and flavors, partnered with other inventive recipes as though eating a meal is unnatural without chocolates. Let’s examine exactly why chocolate lovers will never get enough of this addictive treat.

The Royal Sweetness

Chocolates go as far back as pre-recorded history when Aztec royalties indulged themselves with chocolates which they called « xocoatl ». Cocoa pods were ground and processed to produce a dark, bitter sweet drink that they believed top give them power and fertility. The regular folks wanted to taste them, obviously they were not allowed to lest they endure the wrath of the kings.

Long after chocolates were introduced to Spain, this reverence for chocolate continued, evident in the fact that Spaniards kept the chocolate secret for almost a hundred years from other nations until Dominican monks pilled the beans. After its invasion of Europe, chocolates slowly trickled down to the public, but at a high value.

It is human nature to want what is prestigious and uncommon, and since chocolates have been treated most specially over history, its respect and value has not diminished. Today, you can get chocolates everywhere, but it is undeniable that people still look at chocolates as food for the indulgent – a luxury, something you eat on special occasions.

Dark, Sweet and Sexy
Historical accounts of chocolates’ aphrodisiac quality are everywhere. There were studies that proved how chocolate eaters have more sex than non-eaters. The principle behind this is quite obvious really – chocolates get us in a good mood. There are even stimulants in chocolates such as phenyl ethylamine (PEA), much like THC, that acts as « uppers ». PEA is actually released in the body during orgasm. This raises dopamine levels in the blood thereby giving a feeling of pleasure.

Melts-in-Your-Mouth
Chocolates may make you happy, but there’s a negative effect in your health if you eat too much of it. But what gives us a feeling of contentment when we put a tiny piece of that melty, bittersweet goodness in out mouths? Besides the chemical factors that keep people coming back for more, the unmistakable decadence is just almost to die for.

Men have waged many hours in the past trying their best to achieve that smooth, creamy goodness we now know today. Thanks for the modern techniques nowadays, they have enabled us to use chocolates in other recipes, involving many cooking methods which are guaranteed to show some results to a countless flavors.

The world can never ever be the same without chocolates. Chocolates are a glorious treat for everyone who loves to eat sweets, especially the chocolate lovers. Men and women buy them for many reasons but there is no denying that there is an innate chocolate lover in all of us. We are all born to love and adore chocolates. Yes, it is almost addictive and alluring in many cases, but the experience of eating them, delighting in its flavor is always different every time. Perhaps, that is exactly the reason why we keep coming back for more.

Chocolate Lovers and Obesity

Chocolates have become one of the most popular confectioneries ever made and sold. Chocolate lovers, young and old, rich and poor, have found themselves being hooked with a confessing indulgence for it. Despite of the popularity chocolates have achieved, there are still questions and arguments that are being raised about its influence on the human health.

Black and White Chocolates

Chocolates have two faces under its name. One is white and the other is black, but of course, these variants represent benefits one can get from the other. Black chocolate, otherwise known as dark chocolate comprises sugar, cocoa mass and butter. On the other hand, white chocolate or milk chocolate has flavorings, vegetable fats and some milk solids. But whether white or black, dark or milk chocolate, chocolates still fascinate and give pleasure to anyone who eats it.

Debating Nutritional Value of Chocolates

For over the years, chocolates have made its way to being the favorite « confectionery » of all time. But despite the alluring images chocolates have created, debate and arguments have been raised and created on where chocolates should be placed. This is because as we know, chocolates still remain in the ‘junk’ category. Both proponents of each side have their positions as to what chocolate can do. But for ordinary chocolate lovers, chocolates will still be chocolates.

But digging deep into it, lovers or non-lovers of chocolate should and must get a glimpse of these issues. Whichever side has a heavier and more relevant proof, should be taken into a better consideration. Each bite leaves a soothing feeling that is hard to define, but renders a strong desire to experience.

Chocolates as Aphrodisiac

Aside from the sensation and delight it gives, chocolate also makes itself an aphrodisiac agent. As an energy booster, studies show that, it provides an adequate reserve of energy, especially when they have greater glucose content in them. Food industries have made chocolate an integral part of the global market, and thus, chocolates still remain top sellers in the market today since 600 AD, even from the time of the Mayans.

Chocolates and Obesity

Though the chocolate world has obtained valuable commendation, they also share a « veto » image just like any other product. These are the days when obesity has become a major word of mouth to every citizen around the globe. Obesity has not just become an ordinary irregularity of body mass, but also is considered as one of the critical causes of chronic diseases. Medical practitioners have spent time doing research to determine the root cause of this problem. From the long list of factors that could trigger obesity, chocolates are found included in the list.

Obesity-Chocolate Link

An independent study in the UK predicted that occurrences of obesity may rise to more than 50% by the year 2020. Statistics, lawmakers & the medical world have proposed that confectioners should not be sold anymore in the pharmacies as being practiced in many corners of the world. Aside from being linked to obesity, chocolates are also suspected to be one causative factor triggering diabetes. This proposition is still under consideration due to the vast studies that are still in progress to prove the same.

Positive Reports on Chocolates

On the other hand, good reports on chocolates are still being circulated and made. Studies also show that dark chocolates consumed moderately, can bestow cardiovascular benefits due to the presence of « flavanol » which plays a major role in the circulatory system. This increases the content of high density lipoprotein (HDL), more popularly known as the good cholesterol; thus preventing the occurrence of cardiovascular related diseases.

The choice is ours and we are the ones who should decide if chocolates can someday be cheaper than therapy which never requires an appointment. Though a list of contradicting propositions follows, chocolates will still remain the most intimate confectionary close to a man’s heart. And with the abounding chocolates in the market, making us crave for every bite, chocolates will forever be a delight for chocolate lovers like me! Now the battle is choosing between chocolates and obesity!

Chocolate Lover Or Chocoholic?

Can you really get addicted to chocolates?

Chocoholics Anonymous hasn’t been born yet but much clamor about chocolate addiction has been talked about in recent years. There seems to be a heightened need for people to draw the line between chocolate lovers and chocolate addicts or chocoholics as they call themselves. Scientists have even isolated the results of the likened effect of chocolates to the marijuana, a prohibited drug that causes euphoria or a sense of well being but carries the dangerous chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

It has been said that food cravings, such as for chocolates, are often caused by emotions. Sudden shift from being happy to a less relaxed state can prompt the mind to look for food that could alleviate the anxiety. Such is evident in people who have seasonal affective disorder or women who have premenstrual syndrome.

Women & Chocolate Addiction

Did you know women are more associated with chocolate addiction than men? If you will take a look at it, women often turn to these sweet temptations during heightened emotional stress. That is why it is a well known fact that chocolates carry uppers such as caffeine that elevate the blood pressure and quicken the breath thereby giving the person a feeling of high.

Many women experience food cravings on a monthly basis in close reference to their menstruation. Changes in hormonal levels affect the mood and consequently dictate the person to crave for certain type of foods which in the case of most women, the chocolates.

Most women claim that they get immense satisfaction upon eating chocolates which merely started as a habit. It just totally makes sense since metabolized sugar produces serotonin in the body, a chemical responsible to the feeling of elation. And who wouldn’t want to feel happy, in the first place!

Addictive Responses to Chocolates Defined

Recent studies made in Europe found that allowing respondents to eat liberal amounts of chocolates, and cutting them back from eating the same resulted to the people salivating at the sight of chocolates. They felt anxious, deprived and depressed.

Another study conducted at Princeton showed rats that were fed with sugar experienced anxiety once sugar was removed from their diets. Their symptoms were like that of nicotine addicts made to quit cold turkey – shaking and their teeth chattering.

However, despite test results, researchers still believe that although the symptoms are similar, chocoholics are not addicts. There is no true chocolate addiction, as there is no definite chemical found in chocolates that are addictive. What the subjects are experiencing are anxieties based on breaking the habit of eating chocolates or that habits formed by eating something sweet when changes in moods occur.

But when do we say enough of chocolate is enough?

If you are unsure whether you are eating too much chocolate and may hamper your health, read and answer the following questions:

1. Do you usually buy loads of chocolates and keep them in stock at home?

2. Do you have more chocolate products than fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator?

3. Do you consume more than 1 pound of chocolate every month?

4. Do you have withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, anxiety, restlessness, sweating and teeth chattering?

5. Can you not last a day without eating chocolate?

If you answered YES to most of these questions then you are undoubtedly in trouble. Being a chocolate lover is not bad, but you also have to watch out for your health! As we say, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure!