“Carol, pass me that candy, will you?” She looks at me in utmost disgust. If eyes could kill, I’m sure my friend would have struck me down.
“This will be your eighth bar today, I wonder why you bother taking slimming tea when you are clearly calling on calories.”
”Dah! This will be my last bar.”
“Hmm! Can I throw out the rest now before you…”
I cut her off before she could finish. “Bitch! Don’t f**k with me. Give me my chocolates.”
I grabbed the remaining three bars from her hand as she got up from her seat to throw them away.
I’m strong enough to face any emotional and physical challenges, but my addiction to chocolate overpowers me every time I try to quit.
There was a time I cut off chocolate completely. Then one day, I ate one offered to me by a kid. I didn’t want to be that overzealous aunt, so I humbled the kid and took a bite from her chocolate bar.
Being an adult means you get to set your boundaries aside sometimes. I thanked the lovely girl, Grete. And that was how we became friends. They had moved into the second building before mine.
Grete would stop by my house on her way to school to bid me goodbye, then she will promise to bring me something when she comes back.
When I return in the evening, Grete will come over at the sound of my horn. The four-year-old was too smart for her age. She will wait for me to freshen up and then help me out in the kitchen. But most times we just watch cartoons or play in my backyard.
The closer I got to know Grete, the more I learned about her, and she about me. I learned she was the only child of her parents and her dad lives overseas. Her mum is a hedge fund manager, but she’s also inherited her grandfather’s welfare foundation. So when she’s not at work, she’s out there saving the world.
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Grete grew up lonely without her parents around. Her nanny is an old lady who doesn’t play with her, but she takes good care of the child. Grete and I became kindred souls when my daughter moved into campus. We drowned our lonesome with cookies, candies, and chocolate her favorites.
When I told her I don’t eat the things she likes, she asked “why.” I told her “they make you fat.” She was perplexed. Then she said, “you don’t eat casserole, you don’t eat broccoli, you don’t take alcohol, and you don’t drink coffee. You don’t like the things my mummy and daddy like.”
I started laughing. “You will grow tinny and die if you don’t eat well,” she added.
I have a healthy eating habits. But Grete didn’t think so. She felt sorry for me. So when she comes around, as usual, I take a bite from her chocolate so she doesn’t feel bad for me.
Each bite I took made me crave more bites. From bites, it turned into eating a whole bar. And like that, my chocolate cravings returned.
Now I knew I was in trouble. If I continued munching chocolates the way I did before the break, there will be no return. Instead of eating any chocolate I see, I chose two brands that make “Low Fat Chocolates” and that was Ghirardelli and Lindt. Hershey’s flavors are too sugary so I turned my back on them.
Does it mean chocolate won’t make me fat?
Of course, not. Anything eaten in excess is dangerous to your body. I eat chocolate almost every week and that puts my health at risk, even if they are advertised as “no calorie” they still contain 43g of saturated fat in the form of cocoa butter.
According to this study, dark chocolates contain 50 to 90 percent cocoa solids, 43% cocoa butter and 24% sugar. The amount of sugar is usually small and the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.
Instead of feeding my body with more calories than it needs, I opted for dark chocolates. Ghirardelli has different flavors but I prefer their dark chocolate. It helps to reduce cravings and it has more benefits than regular milk chocolate.
I also eat Lindt dark chocolate because they have less saturated fat than Ghirardelli. If I want to bake a chocolate cake, I choose Ferrero Rocher dark chocolate with hazelnut. Though it has sugar, I don’t add more sugar to the cake if I’m baking it just for myself.
Why I won’t stop eating chocolate
Most people avoid eating chocolates because they are afraid it may lead to heart failure. Especially now the World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030, nearly 23.6 million people will die from heart disease.
However, a British Journal published in 2011 revealed that eating chocolate reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Chocolates contain anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties such as polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins which improves insulin sensitivity.
Dark chocolate has more benefits than milk chocolate. Dark chocolates are rich in antioxidants and can help in making your skin glow. The flavanols can protect your skin against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration.
Dark chocolate also works as an instant mood booster. They improve blood flow in your body and regulate your blood pressure and sugar level.
The flavonoids in cocoa may help maintain cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and reduce the risk of progression to dementia.
Eating a piece of dark chocolate while you work or study can help you focus better. Eating dark chocolate at night can delay sleep and help you complete tasks before falling asleep.
So if you’re concerned about the health risks associated with chocolate, experts have advised eating light to moderate amounts of chocolate but avoiding excessive consumption to protect against heart failure, the final stage of heart disease.