The surprising effects of eating chocolate every day, dietitians say – Eat This Not That

There aren’t many people on this planet who don’t like chocolate. Whether it’s ice cream, cookies, hot chocolate, or just an old candy bar, most of us will jump at the chance to grab a bite.

But what happens to our body if we regularly eat chocolate? To find out, we spoke with dietitians Courtney D’Angelo, MS, RDauthor at Go Wellness, and Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD to Balance One Supplements on the surprising effects of consuming chocolate every day.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all chocolates are created equal. Cocoa in its natural form is packed with healthy antioxidants and nutrients, which is why dark chocolate is often healthier than other types with added sugar.

Here’s what you need to know if you enjoy a bite of chocolate every day, and for more healthy eating tips, check out Eating Habits to Help Boost Your Metabolism.

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Dark chocolate has been found to help improve your heart health due to its powerful antioxidants called flavonoids.

“There are antioxidants in dark chocolate that can increase blood flow to the heart, reduce the risk of clotting, and have even been shown to lower blood pressure,” says D’Angelo. “That said, a healthy relationship with chocolate may reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.”

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As if we needed any more excuses to eat chocolate, some research indicates that it can improve your mood.

“If you think about it, eating chocolate almost always improves your mood, and studies have shown that people who ate chocolate felt less stressed,” D’Angelo says. “Researchers think it’s because of how chocolate can positively impact heart health, as stress is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”

However, it is important to be aware not only of the quantity of chocolate you eat, but also of its quality. Diets high in added sugars have actually been linked to more cases of anxiety and depression, which means eating low-sugar chocolate, such as dark chocolate, may be a better option.

Here’s why this type of chocolate will improve your gut and your mood.

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While dark chocolate contains many useful nutrients, more processed chocolates like milk chocolate or white chocolate can be full of added sugar.

“Certain types of chocolate can be a source of empty calories, which means your body is getting mostly calories and very few vitamins, minerals, or phytonutrients,” Best says. “Empty calorie foods can contribute to weight gain, and when prepared with added sugars can also lead to increased cravings. Eating chocolate on a regular basis can create a sugar crash that inevitably leads to heartburn. mood, increased hunger, and other potential negative side effects, such as increased blood sugar.”

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Fruit can be a great way to get the natural sugars and carbs your body needs, but if you eat chocolate every day, it can alter your sugar cravings and the possibility of natural sweetness.

“Eating chocolate every day can keep you from finding healthier alternatives for your sweet tooth,” says Best. “When you regularly eat added sugar, you can start to lose your taste for real sweetness, like fruit.”

Some research also shows that when you eat processed or added sugar, you may be more likely to develop the habit of craving more sugar. And often that’s when we go for more chocolate or candy instead of natural sugars.

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“Chocolate contains magnesium, which has many benefits and is a naturally occurring mineral in the earth as well as in the human body,” says Best. “It is vital for life because it is contained in every cell of the body and important for the performance of many bodily functions. This mineral is also important for brain health, and functions not only in the brain for mood and cognitive support, but also outside the brain in the blood vessels.”

It is important to note of course that the darker the chocolate, the more nutritional value it has and the more magnesium you consume. Milk chocolate may still contain nutrients, but its nutritional value decreases if it’s loaded with added sugars and other processed ingredients.

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