But what is it about these brown lumps of fat, sugar, milk (sometimes) and cocoa that has people gripped?
Well, apart from its sweet flavour and smooth texture, chocolate contains a couple of chemicals that can produce a natural high, and people can get addicted to that feeling and learn to associate it with reward or comfort. So if they’re feeling down, or they want to celebrate, chocolate seems the perfect choice. Soon the bond is forged, so every time that situation arises the chocolate comes out.
Break the sweet habit
We put dark chocolate on our Nutrition for Everyone plan to help break that bond. There’s no proven scientific or nutritional reason for this – it’s just that most people don’t like dark chocolate as much as milk choc. So you’ll still get chocolate but not the kind that’s easy to eat tons of!
Of course there are people who overeat any kind of chocolate, so we do suggest a recommended amount and that clients buy small bars so they don’t have the rest of a big bar sitting there calling their name!
Sometimes we crave something sweet after a meal, for a palate change, and having a little bit of dark chocolate can stop you heading for a full-on sweetfest. Whereas if you launched into a bar of Dairy Milk you might be more likely to eat a slab the size of your head 🙂
It often seems as if women crave chocolate more than men, but it might be that guys think it’s not macho to say they crave anything but beer and steak, whereas really they like chocolate as much as anyone! That’s why Yorkie Bars were invented, to muscle-up chocolate-eating and make it well ‘ard. Sometimes women crave chocolate and sweet stuff at certain times in their hormone cycle, perhaps because hormones affect mood and mood affects the craving for sweet stuff, and food in general.
There’s plenty of snobbery around chocolate these days, with an array of fancy, very expensive chocolate bars but it’s really down to personal preference. If you prefer a Flake to a bit of Prestat 80% don’t worry about it. The key is simply not to eat tons of chocolate of any sort.
He showed the words ‘chocolate cake’ to a group of Americans and recorded their word associations. ‘Guilt’ was the top response. If that strikes you as unexceptional, consider the response of French eaters to the same prompt: ‘celebration’.