I decided a long time ago that dark chocolate every once in a while would be a reasonable cheat. Although I wouldn't eat it if it didn't taste so good, I figure it has one of the best ratios of how good it tastes to how little harm it does. I feel normal and good after eating it, it doesn't stimulate appetite like a lot of other cheat foods, I feel satisfied after eating a bar rather than itching for more and more, it's supposed to have certain antioxidants and other useful properties, all sorts of people suggest it as a reasonable indulgence, etc.
But recently it seems like it may have gotten a bit out of hand. I've been averaging a 3 oz bar slightly less than once a day, like perhaps 5-6 times per week. I've been picking ones with no additives and at least 70% cocoa if not 80%+, but this still seems like it may be crazy. I see people mention that they eat a few squares a day, or even per week. I've been eating a whole 2-3 oz bar almost daily! Is this insane, or am I going to be ok? This is basically my only cheat. Everything else is of the utmost quality, and reasonable from virtually all points of view from paleo to WAPF.
Examples of the kind I eat:
http://www.tazachocolate.com/store/Products/80darkbar (80%, seems high quality, they seem like they know what they're doing, tastes amazing to me, no additives, supposedly a traditional process, etc)
http://www.alterecofoods.com/products/chocolate/dark-blackout (85%, seems high quality, they say they ferment their cocoa beans, etc)
I haven't felt any bad effects almost at all, and in fact I feel really good when I eat this dark chocolate, so I don't feel like I have anything to immediately worry about. But it's expensive, and I'm worried I'm going to pay later for doing something that most people would perhaps find rather insane! No way I could get away with this if I didn't live alone, or with someone as crazy as me ;)
I'm male, 6'1'', 200 lbs, with low body fat percentage, if that helps gauge how much dark chocolate this is for me specifically.
Also, are there any negative effects I should be looking out for? Are there any health issues associated with high consumption of dark chocolate?
asked byWakaanai (266)
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on April 02, 2013
at 10:08 PM
I agree that dark chocolate is a fairly healthy indulgence, and also agree with the responses that you should check whether this is throwing your caloric intake off or displacing other nutritious foods. Other things you might want to think about:
Cocoa has high levels of phytate, and if you're eating good chocolate then it hasn't undergone the processing that removes them (along with most of the nutrients and flavor). Normally this is a non-issue because chocolate is eaten in such small quantities compared to grains. But a bar a day may be giving you appreciable amounts, depending on your personal tolerance and level of concern.
High-strengt cocoa also has meaningful levels of stimulants, including theobromine and a little caffeine, though it's weak compared to coffee or tea. If you find that chocolate is not just enjoyable, but actually important to maintaining your mood and energy levels, be aware that you could be getting pharmacologic effects from it.
As with most paleo worries, you could try giving it up for a week and seeing what happens. If you feel better, then perhaps you've been going overboard. If you feel worse, then perhaps it was contributing something that was important for your health OR you were becoming unhealthily dependent on it in some way.
As a bonus, I find that taking a little time away from chocolate makes it taste even better!
on April 02, 2013
at 09:32 PM
1oz of dark chocolate has about 150 calories, so 3 ounces per day is 450 calories, and that is a heck of a cheat, maybe 25-35% of your total calorie intake. Very dark chocolate is not the worst thing for you but eating 25-35% of your calories as candy definitely isn't good for you. Maybe you are otherwise skimping on your calories and making it up as dark chocolate, in which case you should eat more vegetables, fruits, meats, and eggs, and reduce your chocolate to a few ounces per week.
on April 03, 2013
at 01:45 AM
Are you taking a magnesium supplement?
If not, try 400-600 mg Magnesium Glycinate before bed & see what happens to your chocolate cravings.
on April 02, 2013
at 09:33 PM
So, um, what is your problem? You like dark chocolate, you can afford it, you eat it, you feel good. There are studies that show that eating dark chocolate is good for you. I don't know of any studies which show that eating dark chocolate is bad.
Stop obsessing about it, lower your stress level, and go have your daily chocolate portion :-)