Is all the chocolate from your kids’ Trick-or-Treat bags gone already? And not because your children ate it all? If you are anything like me, the chocolate candies are nowhere to be found because you have relentlessly snatched them from your unknowing children and, with much guilt and remorse, ate them all. Not because you don’t like your kids eating too much chocolate (it’s for their own good, right?). And not because you are desperately trying to put on a few pounds. The truth is, you are a serious chocoholic, and anything containing chocolate doesn’t last long in your home because it ends up in your stomach.
Now, many of us are well known as chocoholics, but others, to some extent, still have one leg in the closet. Those close to us know we love chocolate, but when the candy goes missing we don’t claim any responsibility. I have recently removed myself from the darkness and became a self-proclaimed chocoholic. Moreover, I am ready to explore the reasons behind my desires and what can be done about it. In fact, it’s probably time we all came out of the candy-filled closet to discuss this propensity for the sugary sweet. Why do we have it? Is there a genetic component to our needs? And what is truly so bad about being addicted to this mere cocoa bean? Most importantly, what can we do to keep our habitual desire in check? I will explore all of the above and detail a healthy way to keep chocolate in our diets.
Why are we the chosen addicted to chocolate anyway? Within my research, I have found that several scientists believe genetics does play a part in why certain people become consumed by the taste and smell of chocolate. Although I am not a scientist, I also believe that the inevitable craving for chocolate has some hereditary component. In my family, both parents have the desire to eat anything containing even a trace of chocolate. My sisters have also been burdened with this want for any such version of chocolate. In addition, my eldest brother requires much will to keep himself away from the candy cabinet in his home. This may not be scientific evidence, but it is my experience and stands to reason in my mind. No doubt, many chocoholics reading this article can think of at least two relatives that require a daily dose of chocolate to keep them happy.
So what is the big deal about chocolate anyway? Is it really that bad for us? I guess the answer is yes and no. Yes for some of us, no for others. Many doctors and psychologists believe that being addicted to chocolate means that one has the genetic code for simply being an addict. Many chocoholics are also alcoholics, smokers, and on down the line of addictive behaviors. Research also shows that many obese people are burdened with chocolate addiction as well as addiction to other foods. For these folks, addiction to anything has the potential to become problematic.
What about those of us who are chocoholics but not obese and not regular addicts? I myself am not obese. I am also not an addict…to anything but chocolate. I have never dealt with any other addiction. I do not have addictive behavior and do not believe I have the disease of addiction. I am simply in love with chocolate and want it almost as much as I want a good nights’ sleep. Is it truly dangerous for me? Of course it’s not the healthiest of foods to love but I’ve yet to enter the realm of danger. But it wouldn’t hurt to find a better way to fulfill my desires.
Most chocoholics know their habit is not necessarily a good one and would be willing to try a healthier alternative. Replacing chocolate with carob chips could ease kicking the chocolate habit, but the taste is just not the same. Another alternative is dark chocolate, which is known to have health benefits such as lowering high blood pressure. It also contains a potent antioxidant which helps to fight heart disease and other ailments. Just don’t wash it down with a glass of milk because milk prevents absorption of the good stuff. Dark organic chocolate is said to be the healthiest choice. It is more expensive than the average chocolate bar but is very rich in flavanoids and antioxidants. Dark organic chocolate, when consumed in moderation, can help to control diabetes and blood pressure. This is the best replacement for those who are addicted to chocolate but need a healthier variety.
Whatever your choice, it is imperative to remember that all types of chocolate contain large amounts of sugar and should only be consumed by healthy individuals. I myself would like to say that from now on I’m only going to eat dark organic chocolate in moderation. But who am I kidding. I know that I lack the willpower. I believe in strength in numbers, however, and look forward to all the emails I will receive from fellow chocoholics wanting to mellow, if not curb, the habit. I don’t think that chocolate is going to kill me, but it is certainly not going to save my life. I will attempt to limit my consumption and focus on buying dark varieties of chocolate. Especially now that all the Halloween candy is gone. And if I can do it, so can you.
Elizabeth Smith is a part-time freelance writer when she is not too busy mothering her two children, ages 3 and 6. She also runs an online and offline gift basket business entitled Crafty Gift Creations ~ Gift Baskets for Any Season and Every Reason. Visit her online at http://www.craftygiftcreations.com and check our her beautiful and yet tasty chocolate gift baskets and gifts!