I have Type 2 diabetes and sometimes go on chocolate binges. Please help me understand the consequences!
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, provides quite a few health benefits, including a possible decreased risk of stroke, heart disease and cancer, thanks to antioxidants called flavonoids. The less processed and the darker the chocolate, the more flavonoids the chocolate contains. However, the downside to eating any type of chocolate is its calorie and fat content. A one-ounce piece of dark chocolate contains 156 calories, 11 grams of fat (7 of them are saturated fat) and 14 grams of carbohydrate (about the amount of carb in 1 slice of bread or a small piece of fruit). Too many chocolate binges may lead to higher-than-desired blood glucose readings and weight gain. It’s normal to crave certain foods, particularly sweet and/or higher-fat foods, now and then. It may be helpful to allow yourself one or two small pieces of chocolate each day in order to prevent the cravings in the first place. The key, though, is to keep the portions small, and not end up eating a large candy bar, for example. If your cravings occur frequently, think about what may be triggering them. Are you skipping meals or going too long without eating? Do your cravings appear when you’re under stress or feeling down about something? Anxiety, depression, boredom, hunger and even thirst are common triggers for binges. If you think any of these are reasons for your chocolate binges, consider meeting with a dietitian to discuss a healthy eating plan and meal schedule. If emotions are triggering the cravings, think about meeting with a behavioral health specialist to address the causes and explore other, more healthful ways of handling stress.