According to a study published in the July 4, 2007 issue of The Journal of American Medicine eating about 30 calories of dark chocolate each day lowers blood pressure. Those benefits can come without weight gain or other adverse effects, because of the small amount needed for the benefit.
- Previous research has suggested that the benefit comes from cocoa polyphenols found in chocolate, but the benefits can be decreased by the high sugar, fat and calorie content in some chocolate. The secret: moderation.
- Cravings may come from stress, a busy day at work or after something great happens. They could be triggered by walking by a sweets shop, smelling a delectable treat or PMS, fatigue or anxieties. Hormonal cycles can even affect your likelihood of having a craving. So, don't be hard on yourself if you have the craving.
- Your best bet is to go ahead and eat some chocolate, in moderation, one ounce sizes. Many chocolate bars are available in one ounce sizes -- snack-size or mini bars. If the chocolate you are drooling over is in a big bar, try to limit your intake to one square -- though square sizes vary depending on the manufacturer. A good rule of thumb is that 1 ounce is about the size of your thumb from your finger tip to your first knuckle.