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Food cravings are common. The tendency to crave foods high in sugar and fat is well-established in nutritional research. As a food high in both sugar and fat, chocolate is one of the most commonly craved foods in America. Chocolates are made by combining cocoa powder and cocoa butter with sweeteners and other ingredients. Cocoa butter s for most of the fat in chocolate. Different types of chocolate have varying concentrations of cocoa powder often called the cacao percentage. Dark chocolate has the highest concentration of cocoa powder and white chocolate the lowest. Chocolate also contains a variety of other ingredients like sugars, milk powders, and nuts.
Cocoa is naturally bitter. To improve the taste of chocolate, processors add plenty of sugar. Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that your body absorbs quickly. Other chocolate bars that contain caramel, nougat, and marshmallow may have even more sugar. For example, a Snickers bar has 27 grams of sugar. Chocolate bars containing more than 75 percent cacao tend to have less sugar under 10 grams per bar.
Research suggests that sugars and other refined carbohydrates are a key component of processed foods that are considered addictive. According to the American Heart Associationwomen should limit themselves to 25 grams of sugar per day about six teaspoons and men should stay below 36 grams nine teaspoons.
You may be able to reduce your sugar intake by eating chocolate with a high cacao percentage. When your body is hungry, it craves fast carbohydrates like refined sugars. Unfortunately, most processed chocolate Anyone want dark chocolate high on the glycemic index, which means that it gives you a quick, but temporary sugar rush. You can beat your chocolate craving by filling up on something else. Look for foods that are low in sugar and high in protein or whole grains. These foods will keep you full longer and prevent a sugar crash. As cacao is processed, its caffeine content decreases.
Most processed chocolate candy bars have under 10 mg of caffeine. To put that in perspective: The average cup of coffee has about 85 to mg of caffeine. Some dark chocolateshowever, can contain more caffeine than a can of cola which has around 30 mg. The higher the cacao content, the higher the caffeine content. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, making you feel more awake and alert.
It also affects the levels of certain neurotransmitters in your brain, including dopamine. This may contribute to its addictive nature. For people who never drink caffeinated beverages, the caffeine in chocolate may be enough to provide an energy boost. If you regularly consume caffeine, however, your tolerance to its effects is probably fairly high. Read here for a comparison of caffeine counts in hot chocolate versus tea, soda, and coffee.
About 50 percent of American women crave chocolate around the time their period starts. Researchers have been unable to find a biological explanation for this phenomenon. Basically, women may crave chocolate during their periods out of habit because they believe chocolate cravings are normal. Practicing mindful eating will help you identify habitual cravings. Ask yourself why you want chocolate. If not, you can find an alternative or simply eat it in moderation. Mindfulness meditation and other stress relievers can also help you deal with stress in a healthier way.
Research shows that chocolate is high in magnesium.
This seems unlikely given that there are other foods much higher in magnesium that people rarely crave, including nuts. Magnesium supplements are available at your local pharmacy. You can also try eating foods high in magnesiumsuch as raw almonds, black beans, or whole grains.
The healthiest way to get your chocolate fix is to find a chocolate with a high cacao percentage. Chocolates with a high cacao percentage have more antioxidants and less sugar than other chocolates. Look for chocolate that is ethically sourced through fair trade practices that protect the workers who produce it. Research funded by the U. Department of Labor found over 1. Consumer guides and organizations like Ethical Consumer, from the United Kingdom, provide tools for people to learn more about the products they want.
The health benefits of chocolate come from the natural cocoa powder. Chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cacao may:. Trying to resist those chocolate cravings? Chocolate does have health benefits, but the high sugar and fat content can be detrimental for many people. Here are a few tips for cutting chocolate out of your life. Chocolate cravings are very common, but there are healthy ways to deal with them. Dark chocolate with high percentages of cacao have a of health benefits, which means you should feel free to enjoy them in limited quantities of course.
Keep in mind that anything with sugar and fat can contribute to weight gain, so practice smart portion control. Some foods are more likely to cause symptoms of addiction than others. This article provides a list of the 18 most addictive and the 17 least…. Learn more. There are hundreds of different types of dark Anyone want dark chocolate.
Read this guide to find the best types of dark chocolate to buy, as well as which to avoid. Many people crave sugar and feel an urge to eat something sweet. Here are 19 foods that can help you fight your sugar cravings. Expert guidelines suggest that there are several stages of diabetes, depending on type, beta cell function, and more.
People with diabetes may be at an increased risk for kidney disease, or may take medications that interact with ibuprofen. Experts note that diabetes is an inflammatory disease that can increase risks and complications if a person develops COVID You may have heard that certain types of alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels. This article explores tequila and diabetes. Medically reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph. For a sugar fix.
Share on Pinterest. For a caffeine boost. Out of habit, culture, or stress. Because your body needs magnesium. The healthiest ways to have chocolate. Health benefits of cocoa. Read this next. What Are the Stages of Diabetes? Medically reviewed by Michelle L. Griffith, MD. What Is Type 4 Diabetes? Medically reviewed by Kelly Wood, MD.Anyone want dark chocolate
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