Chocolate, is it good or bad for you?
Its coming up Easter, and the chocolate feast! But is chocolate good or bad for you?
The answer to that is dependent on what type you eat and how much of it you eat!!
Why chocolate may be bad for you:
- Chocolate that is highly processed, like milk chocolate and white chocolate, often contain large amounts of sugar, artificial sugars and/or dairy, and have little or no health benefits.
- Chocolate contains caffeine, which can elevate blood sugar which may lead to stress, insomnia or anxiety.
- Chocolate contains oxalates which may contribute to the development of kidney stones.
- Chocolate high in sugar may be a factor in tooth decay.
Why chocolate may be good for you:
However, on the flip side chocolate can be very healthy if you eat good quality dark chocolate. The cocoa contents must be 70% or more. I used to hate dark chocolate before I changed my diet to balance my blood sugars. As I did this, my desire for sweet things were reduced and I started to enjoy eating dark chocolate. In fact, I really don’t like Cadbury’s chocolate now, as I find it too sweet!
Research has now shown that chocolate contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. It is high in potassium, magnesium and iron. These can be beneficial to health. These in themselves will not give you good heart or cardiovascular health, but as part of a healthy diet and in reasonable amounts they may help to reduce bad cholesterol, support blood pressure and be effective in providing the body with antioxidants to help support the body’s immune system.
So how much is enough?
So how much should you eat? Not too much! It is thought that we should not consume more than 60g per day. I eat about 25g of 70%+ chocolate per day, but not every day. Some days I desire it and other days I have no desire at all. For women this can be due to the changes in our hormones throughout the month. It could also be because your blood sugars are imbalanced. Did you have protein with your breakfast? Toast or cereal breakfast will inevitably lead to a desire for sugar or carbs by midmorning.
So my advice is stay away from the cheap chocolate eggs and buy quality dark chocolate one. Green and Blacks do a good range. Enjoy, but don’t over indulge.
Find a nutritionist dealing with healthy eating
or try our advanced search