How To Control Your Chocolate Craving
Chocolate’s romantic symbolism reaches far back to Mayan and Aztec traditions, and to the belief that chocolate contains mysterious properties that seduce the heart.
Enjoying chocolate may seem decadent. Yet growing scientific evidence offers a more balanced view. Two fats in chocolate may be heart healthy: stearic acid, which doesn’t seem to increase LDL- (bad) cholesterol, and oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that may help raise HDL- (good) cholesterol. Chocolate also contains flavonoids (a type of antioxidant) that may be cardio-protective. Tip: Dark chocolate has more antioxidants. If you’re a chocolate lover, go easy— since chocolatey foods are generally made with high-fat, sugary ingredients.
Does chocolate give an “emotional buzz”? It does contain stimulants— caffeine and theobromine—but not enough for a significant effect. It has small amounts of phenylethylamine, a mild mood elevator— but not enough to be an aphrodisiac. Although substances in chocolate aren’t physically addictive, you may learn to crave their pleasant flavor.
To control your chocolate craving:
- Stretch the pleasure. Enjoy one or two small chocolates; ration the rest for later.
- Satisfy your craving with a small-size chocolate bar.
- Enjoy a mug of Mexican-style hot chocolate—made with milk and cinnamon.