Since we have a popular chocolate-eating holiday this weekend, I thought I would share some interesting trivia about the tasty treat:
There are approximately 2500 Calories in a pound of chocolate which is almost twice as many as a pound of beef or a dozen eggs.
The craving for chocolate is determined by brain chemistry. Studies indicate that chocolate does contain mood-altering chemicals called cannaboids. But, you would have to eat 27 pounds of chocolate at a sitting to have any pharmacological effects.
The melting point of chocolate is 90 degrees...lower than your body temp. so that's why it melts in your hand - Unless, of course, you are eating M&M's, which melt in your mouth, not in your hand.
Chocolate is relatively low in saturated fat. The fat content of chocolate varies from one bar to the next, from milk chocolate to dark. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrition database indicates that a standard bar of mild chocolate is about 60 percent fat. About 50 percent of the overall fat in chocolate is saturated fat, which generally raises cholesterol levels. However, the saturated fat in chocolate is stearic acid, which has essentially no impact on cholesterol. Other research shows chocolate contains a chemical called phenolic acid, which may lower the risk of heart disease.
Carob is not any better for you than chocolate is. According to the America Dietetic Association, a bar of carob contains just as many calories and fat as a chocolate bar of the same weight.
The average American eats 11.7 pounds of chocolate per year. Americans don't lead the pack, however - the Swiss eat about 22 pounds annually and the Danes eat just under 30 pounds a year.
According to several studies on the relationship between chocolate and acne, it has been proven that there is no association.
Although the sugar in chocolate is linked to tooth decay, some studies indicate that cocoa butter forms a protective layer over the tooth enamel. Also, if you brush after eating chocolate, the chances of the sugar affecting you are greatly reduced.
Chocolate contains about 8 milligrams of caffeine per ounce. Compared to 80-100 mgms in a cup of coffee, that's not much.
If you are a chocoholic, you have a chance of living longer. A December 1998 study in the British Medical Journal suggests that chocoholics appear to live up to a year longer than the chocolate-deprived. However, the results of this study are preliminary. Also, those who enjoyed the most benefits, with a 36 percent lower risk of death than those who eat little or no chocolate, actually consumed only modest amounts of chocolate: from 1-3 bars per month. However, even among those who ate closer to 3 bars a week, the risk of death was 16 percent lower.
Studies have concluded that there is no indication of any kind that candy is linked to hyperactivity.