- Food and Cooking
Chocolate: A Love/Hate Relationship
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate!!
Have you ever thrown away perfectly good chocolate? Like other women I know, I have a love/hate relationship with chocolate. When I have it, I sometimes wish I had less or none at all. When I don’t have any chocolate, I crave it and wish that I did have some.
I’ve left the house late at night to drive down to the local convenience store to buy chocolate cookies, a candy bar or ice cream to satisfy a craving. I have also been known to throw away perfectly good chocolate.
Both my husband and I love dessert and look forward to eating the sweet stuff after our meals. With that said, we try not to keep anything good in our house! Yes, we do stock some sugar free, chocolate Jello puddings in the fridge and we have a box of low fat, sugar free chocolate ice cream bars in the freezer. But, we avoid buying what I would call real dessert.. the Milano cookies, the bakery cakes, the home-made pies and other delectables. When we attend a friend’s or family member’s event and are asked if we want to take home dessert, we politely decline.It’s a control issue- and we have none. Once the chocolate dessert exists within the boundaries our home, all control goes out the window and we are magnetically drawn to eating it. We’ve learned that chocolate candy and cookies are great breakfast foods. However, visits to the gym and chocolate for breakfast, don’t exactly mix. ☺
Watch " I Love Chocolate" ............ A Very Funny Home Video
What Drives the Love/Hate Relationship With Chocolate?
What drives this love hate relationship with chocolate? The love comes from the delicious taste, the alluring smell, the creamy texture, the attractive presentation and perhaps even the sugar high. This love resulted in $23.5 Billion in chocolate sales, in 2007 in the United States alone.
The hate comes from the concern about chocolate's fat, calories, caffeine and health implications. Eating chocolate does not help us reach weight loss goals or reduce growing love handles. There are no chocolate diets or wait, are there?
British author, Sally Ann Voak, penned a book called “The Chocolate Diet” which was published in 2001. promises that you can “eat chocolate and lose seven pounds in a week” and that there are 20 chocolate bars that each contain only 99 calories each. The book also provides a diet and exercise plan that weans chocolate addicts away from their drug of choice. The book
Although this concept may sound good, the book was “slammed” by critics and dieticians across the globe.
Chocolate may not be as bad as we think it is. Per the National Confectioners Association, there are many negative health perceptions about chocolate that are not accurate. For example, many people think that chocolate has a significant amount of caffeine. Although chocolate does have some, the average serving of milk chocolate has less caffeine than a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
Contrary to what you may have heard, Chocolate is not high in cholesterol. The cocoa butter in chocolate contains stearic acid, which has a neutral effect on cholesterol levels and is not recognized as a source of trans fat.
Visit the National Confectioners Association’s website for more chocolate statistics and to download their brochure on “chocolate and health”.
Crazy Chocolate Behavior
My love/hate relationship with chocolate has driven some less desirable or even slightly crazy chocolate behavior over the years.
For the 2008 holiday season, it seemed like I received more chocolate themed gifts than in any recent years. Don’t get me wrong--I appreciate the time and thoughtfulness that went into these gifts but I must come clean!
After eating a significant amount of sweets during the month of December, I set aside several boxes of chocolate with the intention of donating or re-gifting them. I also opened up a delicious bag of chocolate covered espresso beans and after downing about 25 crunchy beans, dumped the bag of treats deep into my kitchen trashcan. I simply have no control once the bag is opened.
One Valentine's Day, I received a giant heart shaped box of chocolates. Throughout the day I ate piece after piece of chocolate until I had to stop myself. I closed up the heart shaped box, walked out to the front porch, lifted the lid to the trash can and deposited the closed box on top. The next day I was craving chocolate. I walked back out to the can, lifted the lid and took the box of chocolates back out. Since the temperature was about 35 degrees outside and there was no other trash on top, I figured they were still as good as new.
It’s not just me! In a popular Sex & the City episode, attorney Miranda Hobbs ate a chocolate cupcake that came from her trash can.
There were several other occasions when I hosted some type of event at my house and had lots of dessert left over, When I couldn’t give it away to my guests, I tossed it in the trash. To make sure that I didn’t eat any, I sprayed Windex into the trash onto the dessert remnants. Once you soak it with dangerous cleaning chemicals, you know you won’t go back!
With chocolate sales in the billions and growing, Valentine’s Day around the corner and some wrapped gift chocolate still sitting in my kitchen, I don’t think my love/hate relationship with chocolate will end any time soon. Um.. I think I better head to the gym now and take my mind of this madness!!
Copyright © 2008, M. Reynolds, All Rights Reserved