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.