Copyright 2006 Eva Moffat
Is chocolate a craving with you? Are you a secret chocolate eater? Are you denying it even to yourself?
Research has shown that certain chemicals in the brain may cause the cravings.
So does having cravings make you addicted to chocolate? Are you a chocaholic?
The problem is that constantly telling yourself that you are addicted and therefore unable to help yourself is self-defeating. Whatever you tell yourself will if said often enough, make the subconscious mind believe what you are saying is the truth. Your subconscious mind does not reason it just accepts whatever it is told without question.
If you are addicted to chocolate, like any other addiction it is an illness, no different from being addicted to drinking, smoking, gambling or drug taking. Many homes have broken up because one of the partners has developed an addiction and this usually can quickly impoverish the family, as the addict has to keep finding the money to satisfy his or her addiction.
Can Being Addicted To Chocolate Harm You?
What if you are addicted to chocolate? What harm can it do you?
If you are on a weight loss diet, eating chocolate can sabotage your efforts.
Whats In Chocolate That Can Make You Fat?
Chocolate contains more of the harmful fats. But if you must eat some chocolate, go for dark chocolate rather than milk chocolate, because dark chocolate has less harmful fat than milk chocolate.
Why Do We Crave?
There are chemicals in chocolate, both dark chocolate and milk that are similar to taking Marijuana. But you would have to eat about 25 pounds to get the same effect.
But just as Marijuana is a drug that if taken often leads to addiction. So taking excessive amounts of chocolate can have the same effect and give you a high.
Your Addiction May Have Started In Childhood
You can inherit a sweet tooth from your parents. New York University did some research on mice and found there is a genetic reason why some people crave sugary foods.
Two strains of mice were used in the experiment. One group preferred sweetened water and the other group unsweetened. It was found that a certain gene was missing in one of the groups. They then looked for this gene in humans.
The Chemistry of Chocolate
Chocolate like other sweet foods stimulates the release of endorphins that make us feel good. With over 300 chemicals in chocolate is it any wonder we crave it?
One of these chemicals found in chocolate is Theobromine that relaxes the smooth muscles in the linings of the lung.
What Other Chemicals in Chocolate Make Us Feel Good?
Neutrotransmitters are the chemical messengers of the brain. Electrical Signals are transmitted between nerve cells. These transmitters make changes in the emotions and sensations.
Another chemical is Tryptophan that produces a neurotransmitter called Serotonin. High levels of Serotonin can give you a feeling of elation or even ecstasy.
Does Chocolate Cause Tooth Decay?
According to scientists at Japans Osaka University, they have found that the husks of the cocoa beans that chocolate is made from contains an antibacterial agent that fights plaque. But quite often these husks are thrown away when making chocolate. So if they are added back to the chocolate it may turn out that chocolate will make a good toothpaste but this is not really thought to be recommended.
Do You Want More Good Reasons To Eat Chocolate?
A Scientist in California Professor Carl Keen and his team have suggested that eating chocolate might help fight heart disease. Another chemical called Flavinoid can help thin the blood, so helping to prevent blood clots. Some sceptics are saying that Professor Keens theory is flawed as his research is funded by the makers of Mars products.
Now For The Bad News
Excessive eating of chocolate can cause obesity so shortening the life expectancy of the chocolate eater. So the old saying that everything in moderation is the best way to eat chocolate or anything else you may be addicted to.
You Can Eat Chocolate and Add A Year To Your Life
Researchers at Harvard University carried out experiments and found that eating chocolate three times a month can add one year to your life.
What Will You Choose?
To be a Chocoholic or not to be a Chocoholic? The question you must ask yourself is .. can you live without chocolate?