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Chocoholics

Chocoholics not only crave chocolate but seem to be drawn to it against their will as if addicted to the delectable delight. 

I crave the sweet taste of chocolate myself and feel as if I am in heaven when devouring the sinful snack. 

Even the smell of chocolate sends my senses into a frenzy. 

I have always wondered if I was in fact forever addicted to this sweet snack or if this is merely an excuse I use to satisfy the guilt at my indulgence.

According to statistics and studies women are more likely to be drawn to chocolate with over 40% claiming they love the delightful treat. 

However there are men who are also chocoholics but only about 15% reported cravings. 

So what is it that makes us crave the chocolate?

There are various theories behind the cravings.  Some claim it is purely out of taste.  After all, what can possibly taste better than chocolate? 

Then there is the belief that chocoholics are addicted because chemical reactions from the ingredients that make us feel good.  Another theory is that we crave chocolate because culture has put this treat on a pedestal and there is a status symbol attached to it.

Does Society Dictate our Cravings?

Chocolate is often referred to as the “food of the gods”.  This dates back to Aztec society when chocolate was only savored by priests, warriors and nobility only.  Even today chocolate is thought of as a treat for the elite. 

The tradition of revering chocolate continues today and is apparent in our selections of gifts.  Chocolate is a favorite gift for men to give to women that they adore and love. 

This is a symbol of putting their special someone up on a pedestal.  So is it culture that has produced our desire or does society continue to revere this gift because there are so many chocoholics?  Which came first, the chocolate or the chocoholic? 

Chocoholic By Chemical Addiction?

Another theory as to why there are so many chocoholics is because of the unique ingredients in chocolate.  It’s not so much that they are unique and unusual ingredients but rather the chemical reactions these ingredients cause. 

Eating chocolate invokes many good feelings which may the reason we crave it so much. 

The sugar in chocolate causes the release of a chemical called serotonin.  Serotonin helps reduce feelings of depression and anxieties making us feel better.

The good feelings don’t stop there. 

The sweet taste of chocolate releases endorphins in the brain and gives us a euphoric rush. 

The fat in chocolate enriches the flavor and smells enticing our senses and satisfies another nerve chemical called galanin.  This chemical reaction helps curb our appetite and cravings for fat.

The list of ingredients and chemical reactions goes on.  The decadent delight also contains theobromine and caffeine which gives you a mental boost. 

Then there’s phenlythylmine, also known as PEA, which increases the heart rate and blood pressure, stimulates the nerouse system and can give you the same tingly feelings as being in love.  Maybe this is why chocolate is also considered the candy of love. 

Lastly there is a substance in chocolate that mimics the effects of marijuana.  This ingredient is called anadamine. 

Enzymes begin to break down this ingredient shortly after being introduced into the body so your feeling of being “high” is short lived and there is not enough of this ingredient to give you a global high like marijuana. 

Sinfully Tasteful

Even though chocolate can create good feelings from the chemical reactions and society has given chocolate an elite status, perhaps we are chocoholics for the simplest reason – taste! 

After all, there are many other foods that have some of the same ingredients as chocolate but are not craved in the same way as chocolate.  And society has placed a status symbol on other foods like caviar and high priced wines and cheeses, yet these are not as sought after as chocolate.

So maybe it really does boil down to the pure delightful taste of chocolate.  After all, chocolates creaminess is like no other foods I’ve ever tasted.  The cocoa butter in chocolate give it a rich texture that just seems to melt in your mouth not to mention the sweet taste of sugar.

Some chocolate is also healthy for you and has antioxidants.  Check out this article about dark chocolate from a site dedicated to antioxidants.

If you fear your emotions made you join the chocoholics club, then be sure to read this article on emotional eating.

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