It is time to redefine wholesome meals. Eat extra chocolate.

I’m addicted to three things: coffee, water, and chocolate.

Chocolate literally gets me through the day. It makes learning bearable, relieves stress and makes me happy. Unprocessed, darker chocolates deserve a place in the diet our society considers healthy.

Adding chocolate to your lifestyle is not about appealing to the masses, nor is it about finding an excuse for eating chocolate all the time. Instead, this invites a long overdue settlement with the concepts of a balanced diet and a healthy diet. At the same time, a distinction must be made between healthy and unhealthy chocolates, with the latter being able to cause more health problems.

A complete understanding of healthy eating is limited due to the subjectivity inherent in the subject, but many rely on dietary guidelines such as the plate for healthy eating for educated recommendations. Unlike the US governments My platewho have favourited Healthy Eating Plate Exactly reflects current nutritional research and is neither committed to agricultural policy nor to the food industry. It promotes good quality nutrition and promises to relieve cardiovascular disease, other chronic ailments, and obesity. Teachers have praised healthy eating guides in every health class I’ve attended since elementary school, but their recommendations have never satisfied my sweet tooth after a hearty meal. I’ve always felt guilty for indulging in “unhealthy” foods.

American culture has become obsessed with weight, height and diets. We equate physical appearance with value. We perverse the importance of health through social media and television glorifying painfully thin bodies that are often diametrically opposed to real health. Healthy eating is about balance. But despite a wealth of authoritative information on the subject, people just don’t. A 2017 study shown Despite McDonald’s decision to include apple slices in its menu, only 11% of customers ordered this healthier alternative.

Since most people don’t opt ​​for healthier foods, overindulgence is another factor that can increase body fat. Foods labeled indulgent are direct correlated with increased satiety, no matter how many calories they contain. Conventionally healthy foods do not contribute to our feeling of fullness and lead to overeating. To counter this, some scientists are studying how glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), a hormone that stimulates insulin, can maximize the nutrients absorbed in the body. improve Reduce satiety and ultimately body fat. GLP-1 therapy was originally intended to fight the obesity epidemic, but chocolate could very well have a similar effect. Just a little chocolate can trigger saturation just like the GLP-1 hormone. While this is not yet confirmed by research, the satisfaction of eating chocolate after a meal could potentially make you satisfied enough to prevent overeating.

Chocolate deserves a better reputation and shouldn’t be judged by its calorie density, which often overshadows its many health benefits. For example the Cocoa plant is rich in compounds called flavanols, which are powerful antioxidants improve Cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow. The advantages are not negligible. Improving health with a comfort food could be revolutionary, but the notoriety of chocolate as a treat makes many of us blind to the possibility.

Choosing the right chocolate is just as important. Chocolate that isn’t dark regularly contains saturated fats, added sugars, and higher levels of sodium. not only this additional processing decreases however, the amount of flavanols is also linked to chronic diseases that we want to avoid. However, by choosing the right chocolate and consuming it in moderation, the benefits vastly outweigh the negatives. You can use moderate amounts of chocolate to reduce Risk of diabetes and protect the nerves from inflammation. A 2008 study shown Consumed in moderation, this chocolate can help lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or what is known as bad cholesterol. Looking for chocolate, like whole chocolate with no additives Hu Kitchen chocolate is preferable to more popular brands like Lindt and Toblerone.

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and research suggests that dark chocolate can improve it. Chocolate with at least 70% cocoa can increase Neuroplasticity, which improves memory, cognition, and mood. The Center for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia found This tryptophan in chocolate helps in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that makes us happy and satisfied. Chocolate too stimulates Brain activity. Theobromine, an alkaloid in the cocoa plant, is a stimulant similar to coffee: it Relaxes and relieves the body of stress. Just a square or two can make you happy, improve your mood, and relieve anxiety.

It is impossible for chocolate lovers like me to stay away from this delicious gift from God. Many of us as students strive for healthy eating, but our restrictive definition of healthy eating leads to errors in self-control. Fear of unhealthy foods leads people to overcompensate for the body and neglect the mind. In moderation, chocolate is a healthy comfort food that is good for mental health and belongs on your personal dinner plate.

Sophia Ling (24C) is from Carmel, Indiana.

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