EX­PERT Q&A

YOU Best Diets - - Chocolate Diet -

Jeanie Nel of Cape Di­eti­cians an­swers a few ques­tions about chocolate:

Is chocolate bet­ter to eat than other sweets?

Fat- free jelly and boiled sweets gen­er­ally have fewer kilo­joules than chocolate as they don’t con­tain any fat, but they’re made mostly of re­fined sugar.

So al­though th­ese sweets con­tain fewer kilo­joules, re­fined sugar causes a spike in blood glu­cose lev­els that creates more in­sulin and of­ten re­sults in more fat be­ing stored.

Chocolate has more health ben­e­fits, if eaten in mod­er­a­tion (small por­tions to re­duce kilo­joule in­take), as it con­tains more nu­tri­ents, whereas glu­cose sweets are seen as sugar bombs, con­tain­ing no nu­tri­ents at all.

Could I be ad­dicted to chocolate?

I of­ten see peo­ple who re­fer to them­selves as chocoholics. Chocolate is habit-forming as it can give you an in­stant feel­ing of well­be­ing. When we eat sweet or high-fat food, our bod­ies release sero­tonin, the “happy hor­mone” which makes us feel good.

In my opin­ion on there’s no such thing as a chocolate ad­dic­tion,ic­tion, but rather the need to be cheered up. We e be­gin to rely on the happy feel­ing we ex­pe­ri­ence nce af­ter eat­ing chocolate.

How can I enjoy chocolate in mod­er­a­tion?

Choose your chocolate very care­fully. Opt for a dark, plain chocolate with a high co­coa con­cen­tra­tion – noth­ing less than 70 per­cent, even bet­ter – 85-90 per­cent.

Avoid milk chocolate with fatty and sug­ary fill­ings and prac­tise por­tion con­trol.

Buy chocolate in smaller quan­ti­ties or di­vide a large slab into small por­tions and wrap in­di­vid­u­ally.

If I had an open 100 g dark chocolate in my drawer, I’d prob­a­bly fin­ish it by the end of the day by fre­quently snack­ing on small pieces. An open wrap­per seems to bother me! So break the 100 g chocolate into four equal pieces, wrap up and store out of sight.

And in­dulge in the treat with­out dis­trac­tions to really ap­pre­ci­ate it.

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