Chocolate has been a worldwide favorite amongst people of all ages since its discovery. People have been using it as presenting it to their loved ones as a gift or an excuse to indulge in it out of sheer love for it. Many people find comfort in consuming chocolate and find it to an anti-depressant as well.
But despite the fact that if eaten in moderation, chocolate, and that too dark chocolate, does have some health benefits. Dark chocolate contains important antioxidants that help the body fight free radicals. But consuming this delicious treat in higher quantities can result in health hazards.
Chocolate contains large amounts of butter, sugar, and cream, which are all the ingredients that can mess up your diet. Relying on a small piece and that too occasionally to relieve stress is absolutely fine but overindulging in it can have serious adverse health effects on the stomach, the nervous and cardiovascular system.
Weight gain and risk of diabetes
A bar of chocolate of weighing 44 grams contains 235 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 221grams of sugar. Any excess consumption of this bar of chocolate will lead to weight gain as the added sugar in it has no nutritional value and only raises a person’s blood sugar levels to an extent where there is a danger of developing diabetes. Anybody who is trying to slim down or maintain their weight should limit their chocolate intake.
In addition, the high sugar content in most of the chocolates can also be a cause of early tooth decay in children and adults alike.
Heart disease and stroke
Out of the 13 grams of fat in the bar of chocolate, 8 grams comes from saturated fat which is known to elevate blood cholesterol. Raised levels of cholesterol may lead to heart diseases and stroke.
Chocolate is acidic in nature and acidic foods tend to increase the acid in your stomach. Chocolate causes your lower esophageal sphincter to relax, enabling the stomach contents to move back upwards which results in that heart burning sensation behind your chest known as an acid or gastroesophagul reflux. It is recommended to avoid eating chocolate if a person is already suffering from gastroesophagul diseases.
Palpitations and anxiety issues
Caffeine is a component present in chocolate which stimulates the central nervous system, provides a boost of energy and can improve a person’s mood, but it has no nutritional value. Eating too many caffeine containing foods such as chocolate may result in an irregular heartbeat or palpitations in heart patients and can also lead to anxiety, depression, restlessness, and insomnia.
Effect on kidneys
Studies conducted on chocolate by consumer labs have shown that it contains a high amount of the toxic metal, cadmium. The amount of cadmium was found to be way more than recommended by the World Health Organization. The human kidney especially a diseased one may have trouble flushing out this toxic metal after heavy consumption of chocolate, hence affecting them severely.
People who are lactose intolerant might experience abdominal pain after eating milk chocolate because of the presence of lactose sugar found in dairy products. A dairy-free dark version of chocolate could be fine for consumption for such patients.
According to some evidence, chocolate might cause poor bone structure and osteoporosis. Some studies found that older women who ate chocolate every day had lower bone density and strength.
Although eating chocolate has side effects, nothing can go possibly wrong if it is not consumed in excess. After all moderation is the key to any food consumption.