Sugar Is Why Women Don't Need Chocolate
By Joan Kent, PhD
At a recent seminar that I attended, a participant said, "Sugar is bad in large quantities." No argument there.
Yet sugar can be bad in small quantities because it's sneaky. And women seem to feel pulled toward it for a variety of reasons.
Several years ago, a popular book recommended that women eat chocolate to handle hormonal changes during premenstrual syndrome (PMS), menopause, and stress.
Trust the body and give in to your cravings, the author told us! Indulging is better than depriving yourself! Fat, and carbs like bread and chocolate are the body's natural feel-goods. (Yes, she really said all that.)
Where are the anti-gluten, anti-processed-food champions when we need them??
The good thing about the book is the extensive bibliography. I read and cited several of the references in my dissertation. Still, the author's conclusions are flawed.
She says cravings reflect the body's needs. That common – unproven – theory is not the case with processed, addictive foods.
So I hope you haven't been eating chocolate – even for PMS.
Why talk about this not-new book? Because cocoa – dark, unsweetened cacao – appears everywhere that antioxidants are discussed.
The benefits of the flavonoids in cocoa, called polyphenols, include decreases in blood pressure, insulin resistance, excess clotting, and risk factors for diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
Cocoa also promotes increased HDL (good) cholesterol, improved vascular health, and good gut bacteria. Cocoa can prevent oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to artery disease when unchecked. It may even be effective in treating diarrhea.
Due to its natural theobromine (similar to caffeine), cocoa can decrease fatigue and improve mood. Another mood-elevating chemical in it is phenylethylamine, likened to the feeling of being in love.
But I won't use these benefits as excuses to recommend chocolate.
Sugar is what makes cocoa chocolate, and the drawbacks of sugar are huge. In fact, sugar can singlehandedly reverse most of the above benefits of cocoa. Don't miss tips on sugar and PMS, menopause, and women's food bars – right here this week!
If you feel you need help with sugar, just visit www.LastResortNutrition.com and grab your free copy of "3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying to Quit Sugar."
Brought to you by Dr. Joan Kent, best-selling author of Stronger Than Sugar: 7 Simple Steps to Defeat Sugar Addiction, Lift Your Mood, and Transform Your Health.