Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I never find it hard to rationalize that chocolate should be a frequent indulgence.  Two recent articles that I read give support to daily consumption of dark chocolate.   When I read these two articles on the health benefits of dark chocolate, I wondered about how hard it must have been to find volunteers.  Can you imagine, being forced to eat between one to three ounces of chocolate!  This must have been a hard research project to conduct.

The first study (Science Daily November 12, 2009) found that eating dark chocolate helps ease emotional stress.  Eating an ounce and a half of dark chocolate on a daily basis for two weeks reduced the levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed.  The chocolate also affected other stress-related biochemical imbalances.  So that may be why you feel better after eating a piece of chocolate.  The second research project (Science Daily December 23, 2008) found that dark chocolate is more filling than milk chocolate and lessens our cravings for sweet, salt or fatty foods.  Dark chocolate provides more satisfaction than milk chocolate.   When the 16 young and healthy male volunteers ate three ounces of dark chocolate 2.5 hours before being offered pizza and were instructed to eat pizza until they felt "satiated", those that ate the chocolate consumed less calories (15 percent) than those that did not eat the chocolate beforehand.   They stated that eating chocolate made them feel that they wanted to eat less sweet, salty or fatty food.   If I want to be a bit cheeky, I could connect some dots and say that during the upcoming holiday season, one should eat some dark chocolate instead of a salad and what fun this change would be.... before leaving your home to attend parties that are offering all sorts of food.  Eating chocolate beforehand may help you reduce your consumption of salty, sweet or fatty foods.   After this discussion on chocolate, I must go now and find in my pantry, a piece of dark chocolate with almonds.

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