Guilty Pleasures Part III
Ever wonder if chocolate can be good for you? Well, consuming chocolate in moderation can have some health benefits, however as you know, it also contains sugar, which has surprising effects on the body and can be harmful in large quantities.
Chocolate is produced from cocoa beans which are rich in iron, copper and magnesium. Generally a lot of sugar is added to chocolate and excess sugar is converted to fat hence the need to eat chocolate in moderation. Flavanols are beneficial phytonutrients found naturally in cocoa. They help support healthy circulation, which is important for cardiovascular health, cognitive health, skin health, blood flow and exercise performance. Flavanols have a bitter taste so chocolate manufacturers will often remove these to enhance the taste. The closer the chocolate stays to its true form the healthier it is.
The reason chocolate tastes so good is because it contains a lot of sugar.
What does sugar do to the body?
When you consume sugar, the level of sugar in the blood rises which is toxic. The pancreas detects the high sugar levels and releases the hormone insulin to bring it down. Insulin regulates our blood sugar levels, the higher the level, the more insulin is released. When too much insulin is released in the body, our blood sugar levels will drop below normal and we will experience a crash. Our bodies respond by craving more sugar which becomes a viscous cycle. Glucose, a form of sugar is used by the body to produce energy and the excess is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles and in the fat cells as triglycerides. So when we eat too much sugar, the body converts the excess to body fat. It inevitably becomes easier for the body to skip using sugar as energy, and go straight to extra insulin and fat storage.