Chocolate can either be good or bad for you. It all depends on how much of it you eat. While there are benefits to eating chocolate, it should be treated as a treat not as a health food. Health food is something you eat for its health benefits like kale.
Benefits of Eating Chocolate
Indeed, several studies have shown that chocolate or cocoa beans, chocolate’s main ingredient, can help lower cholesterol levels, prevent hypertension and reduce risk of cardiovascular disorders. It is also widely believed that chocolate contains huge amounts of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds that help our body fight against cell-damage causing free radicals. Free radicals are formed through normal bodily functions like breathing and from environmental factors like cigarette smoke. For instance, if a body does not have enough antioxidants, oxidation occurs and could lead to production of bad cholesterol (LDL) for form on the walls of arteries. Oxidized LDL becomes more reactive and could cause inflammation of the surrounding tissues which could then lead to diseases and organ damage. Oxidized LDL is a serious threat to a body’s cardiovascular system.
Eating chocolate, dark chocolate in particular which is rich with antioxidants and flavanol can help us prevent oxidation. These chemicals help our bodies fight free radicals and reduce oxidation. In fact, researchers found out that dark chocolates have more antioxidants than other fruits in one of these studies.
Chocolate can have health benefits but it can also affect our bodies negatively. Milk chocolate and white chocolate contain less cocoa and more added sugars, butter and milk than dark chocolate. Many experts agree that dark chocolate is far healthier than these 2 types of chocolate.
Chocolate bars are mainly labeled based on the amount of cocoa it contains. For instance, cocoa contents of 75% or more are definitely considered as dark chocolate and most definitely have a bitter taste. Milk chocolate has less cocoa contents and while chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids normally found in other types of chocolate bars. Instead it is made from huge quantities of cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids.
Chocolates that contain high amounts of sugar and fat are not good for our bodies. Eating them in excessive amounts could lead to poor nutrition and debilitating diseases like diabetes. Due to their sugar and fat content, milk chocolates and white chocolates have high calories so eating them could lead to obesity and weight gain. Moreover, since these chocolates have high sugar content they could cause tooth decay.
In conclusion, eating chocolates, especially dark chocolate, has a lot of benefits. However, they should be eaten as candy or treats and not as superfoods or health foods. Candies and treats have a place in everyone’s diet but much like any other candy and treat, eating chocolate in moderation is key.
If you are not too picky about the chocolate you eat, we recommend choosing organic chocolates over regular chocolate. Organic chocolates do not contain preservatives and artificial flavours. They are also less sweet and sweetened using natural sweeteners like licorice and honey.
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