Can you really get addicted to chocolates?
Chocoholics Anonymous hasn't been born yet but much clamor about chocolate addiction has been talked about in recent years. There seems to be a heightened need for people to draw the line between chocolate lovers and chocolate addicts or chocoholics as they call themselves. Scientists have even isolated the results of the likened effect of chocolates to the marijuana, a prohibited drug that causes euphoria or a sense of well being but carries the dangerous chemical called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
It has been said that food cravings, such as for chocolates, are often caused by emotions. Sudden shift from being happy to a less relaxed state can prompt the mind to look for food that could alleviate the anxiety. Such is evident in people who have seasonal affective disorder or women who have premenstrual syndrome.
Women & Chocolate Addiction
Did you know women are more associated with chocolate addiction than men? If you will take a look at it, women often turn to these sweet temptations during heightened emotional stress. That is why it is a well known fact that chocolates carry uppers such as caffeine that elevate the blood pressure and quicken the breath thereby giving the person a feeling of high.
Many women experience food cravings on a monthly basis in close reference to their menstruation. Changes in hormonal levels affect the mood and consequently dictate the person to crave for certain type of foods which in the case of most women, the chocolates.
Most women claim that they get immense satisfaction upon eating chocolates which merely started as a habit. It just totally makes sense since metabolized sugar produces serotonin in the body, a chemical responsible to the feeling of elation. And who wouldn't want to feel happy, in the first place!
Addictive Responses to Chocolates Defined
Recent studies made in Europe found that allowing respondents to eat liberal amounts of chocolates, and cutting them back from eating the same resulted to the people salivating at the sight of chocolates. They felt anxious, deprived and depressed.
Another study conducted at Princeton showed rats that were fed with sugar experienced anxiety once sugar was removed from their diets. Their symptoms were like that of nicotine addicts made to quit cold turkey – shaking and their teeth chattering.
However, despite test results, researchers still believe that although the symptoms are similar, chocoholics are not addicts. There is no true chocolate addiction, as there is no definite chemical found in chocolates that are addictive. What the subjects are experiencing are anxieties based on breaking the habit of eating chocolates or that habits formed by eating something sweet when changes in moods occur.
But when do we say enough of chocolate is enough?
If you are unsure whether you are eating too much chocolate and may hamper your health, read and answer the following questions:
1. Do you usually buy loads of chocolates and keep them in stock at home?
2. Do you have more chocolate products than fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator?
3. Do you consume more than 1 pound of chocolate every month?
4. Do you have withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, anxiety, restlessness, sweating and teeth chattering?
5. Can you not last a day without eating chocolate?
If you answered YES to most of these questions then you are undoubtedly in trouble. Being a chocolate lover is not bad, but you also have to watch out for your health! As we say, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure!