Chocolate Bringing Us Down?

Sweet, creamy, comforting chocolate may be delicious, and even good for the heart, but new research shows it may not be good for the soul.  Researchers studied chocolate consumption of nearly 1,000 men and women over a one-month period, giving groups of participants varying amounts of chocolate in one-ounce servings. The first group consumed five ounces, the second eight ounces, and the third, 12 ounces. Those who consumed the most chocolate showed signs of major depression, while those in the middle group showed signs of possible depression. The lowest-consuming group showed no signs. Results of the study were consistent between men and women.

So, according to these results, increased chocolate consumption could actually cause depression in some — a different scenario than using chocolate as a “reward” or pacifier for depressed feelings. For the chocolate lovers amongst us, the results of this study seem troubling. Take heed the researchers are quick to point out that more research between chocolate and our emotional state is needed; especially because of the potential cause-effect relationship. Natalie Rose, M.D., the lead researcher on the team explains, “depression could stimulate chocolate cravings a self-treatment.” She also points to artificial elements like trans fats added to the chocolate may be a reason for post-chocolate eating blues.

Some say depression may lead to chocolate cravings, because we are seeking a short term sugar high. The problem with a sugar high, is the sugar crash (and guilt and weight gain). In the short run, we may get the pleasure of the sensation, flavor and quick energy rush of chocolate.  In the longer run, however, eating too much chocolate may be ruining our mood.

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