Chocolate for Love or Chocoholic?

Can you really get addicted to chocolates?

Chocoholics Anonymous hasn’t been born yet but much clamour about chocolate addiction has been talked over the  years. There seems to be a heightened need for people to draw the line between chocolate for love and chocolate addicts or chocoholics as they call themselves. Scientists have even isolated the results of the likened effect of chocolates to the marijuana, a prohibited drug that causes euphoria or a sense of well being but carries the dangerous chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

It has been said that food cravings, such as those for chocolate, are often caused by emotions. A sudden shift from being happy to a less relaxed state can prompt the mind to look for food that could alleviate the anxiety. Such can be evident in people who have seasonal affective disorder or women who have premenstrual syndrome.

Women & Chocolate Addiction

Did you know women are more associated with chocolate addiction than men? If you  take a look at it, women often turn to these sweet temptations during heightened emotional stress. This is why it is a well known fact that chocolates carry uppers such as caffeine that elevate the blood pressure and quicken the breath thereby giving the person a feeling of high.

Many women experience food cravings on a monthly basis in close reference to their menstrual cycle. Changes in hormonal levels affect the mood and consequently dictate to the person a  craving for certain type of foods, which in the case of many women, is chocolate.

Many women claim that they get immense satisfaction from  eating chocolates which merely started as a treat but became habit. It  totally makes sense since metabolized sugar produces serotonin in the body, a chemical responsible for the feeling of elation. Who wouldn’t want to feel happy in the first place!

Addictive responses to Chocolates defined

Recent European studies  found that allowing respondents to eat liberal amounts of chocolates, and cutting them back from eating the same, resulted in the people salivating at the sight of chocolates. They felt anxious, deprived and depressed.

Another study conducted at Princeton showed rats that were fed with sugar experienced anxiety once sugar was removed from their diets. Their symptoms were like that of nicotine addicts made to go cold turkey – shaking and their teeth chattering.

Despite test results, researchers still believe that although the symptoms are similar, chocoholics are not addicts. There is no true chocolate addiction, as there is no definite chemical found in chocolates that are addictive. What the subjects are experiencing are anxieties based on breaking the habit of eating chocolates or habits forming by eating something sweet when changes in moods occur.

But when do we say enough chocolate is enough?

If you are unsure whether you are eating too much chocolate and think it may hamper your health, read and answer the following questions:

  1. Do you usually buy loads of chocolates and keep them in stock at home?
  2. Do you have more chocolate products than fruit and vegetables in your refrigerator?
  3. Do you consume more than 1 pound of chocolate every month?
  4. Do you have withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, anxiety, restlessness, sweating and teeth chattering?
  5. Can you not last a day without eating chocolate?

If you answered YES to most of these questions then you are undoubtedly in trouble. Being a chocolate lover is not bad, but you also have to watch out for your health! As we say, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure!