An American team of researchers conducted a randomized control trial (AKA the 'gold standard' of clinical research trials) to understand what it is about chocolate that makes us want to eat 2 or 3 pieces or even the whole chocolate bar instead of being satisfied with just one bite. With white chocolate as their 'control' group, the other 4 groups where given different chocolate samples that had varying sugar, fat and cocoa content. They asked participants to complete a pre- and post-consumption survey (a subjective questionnaire) based on an addictive inventory to determine the subjective effect of 'drugs', in this case the drug being chocolate. They also asked if participants still desired more chocolate. Here is what they found:
1. After eating a controlled portion of chocolate, men wanted to eat more chocolate compared to women, which actually surprised me!
2. Participants who ate 70% cocoa or 85% cocoa chocolate samples had a decrease in subjective drug-like effects after consumption.
3. If the chocolate sample had high sugar and cocoa content, and if the participant felt an increase in the subjective drug-like effect after consumption, it increased their desire to consume chocolate.
My conclusions: So I may only be looking at one study which isn't the most rigorous way to come to a conclusion, but I think this is enough evidence for me to say that I need to put the milk chocolate aside and opt for a higher cocoa content dark chocolate. If I had to guess, I am obviously in the subset that gets a subjective 'high' after eating milk chocolate. So I am to a certain extent addicted! I don't think I will stop craving chocolate any time soon, but perhaps in making a better choice I can learn to control it.
- Unsweetened Chocolate: 100 percent cacao and has no sugar added.
- Dark Chocolate: contains very little/no milk solids and at least 35 percent cacao content. added fat and sugar.
- Bittersweet Chocolate: dark chocolate with cacao content of 50-99 percent, stronger flavor as cacao content increases. less than a third of sugar.
- Semisweet Chocolate: dark chocolate, lower cacao content of 35-50 percent, half as much sugar.
- Sweet Chocolate: dark chocolate, very little cacao content of 15-35 percent
- Milk Chocolate: chocolate that contains more than 12 percent milk or milk solids, cacao content 33-45 percent