- Does chocolate consumption lead to obesity?
Specific foods do not cause obesity. Over-eating in general, along with inactivity, are the main culprits. If a person regularly eats more food than their body needs, they will store the excess energy as body fat. Chocolate is energy dense, which means it contains high levels of kilojoules for its weight - approximately 2,200kJ per 100g. Regularly eating energy-dense foods can be a fast way to gain excess weight, but it would be wrong to say that regularly eating chocolate will lead to obesity.A person with a healthy diet and lifestyle can safely eat chocolate in moderation without fear of weight gain. Traditional Mexican cuisine uses dark chocolate in savory white meat and vegetable dishes. Chocolate eaten this way has a lower energy density (which is desirable if watching your weight) because it is being ‘diluted’ by the less energy-dense vegetables and meat. Some chocolates also contain oleic acid which helps raise your HDL (good cholesterol).
- Does the consumption of chocolate-based products lead to tooth decay?
It turns out that chocolate actually contains many things that are good for you; chocolate also contains antibacterial agents that assist in the prevention of tooth decay. Research has also shown that parts of cocoa bean, the main ingredient of chocolate, thwart mouth bacteria and stop dental decay.
- Why is Dark Chocolate Healthy?
Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.
- Heart Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:
- Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
- Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
- Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
Chocolate also holds benefits apart from protecting your heart:
- it tastes good
- it stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
- it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
- it contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants