However, according to two other studies chocolate is not addictive, rather it is a response to either or both hormonal and pleasure-sought to relieve pressure or stress. The reasons for choosing to eat chocolate may be based on feeling down, depressed or simply imbalanced. Because chocolate contains phenylethylamine which stimulates the release of endorphins, the temporary “feel-good” sensation is sought out in the form of “craving chocolate”. The fact that chocolate contains sugars is probably why it is hard to stop at one piece of chocolate. Sugar tastes good and provides for a texture that “feels good” in the mouth. The pleasure sensations stimulated by both chocolate and sugar can keep one reaching for more (having a greater desire) for this particularly hard to resist treat.
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A: Considering it is a white granulated powder that doesn’t resemble any of the natural ingreds it comes from (a blend of citrus and sour fruits such as orange, lemon, lime, pineapple) I’m inclined to place this in the more highly-processed category.That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily harmful (in fact I like these ingredients). But why add to more processing, when you can go natural – the whole food way? OK, if you’ve already got it or are curious, try it once in a while, but don’t grow dependent on it.
I know “sour-salt” is probably specially blended to give the best flavor punch, but to consider this natural is like suggesting isolated proteins are an equal substitute for natural protein-containing foods. (The fact that the protein has been isolated, means it’s gone through some sort of processing.) Individual nutrients may have their health value, but I still believe it is best to get the nutrients and favors direct from the whole food and not from a chemistry lab.
Besides, there are so many ways to get good use out of your citric acid containing fruits: the peel for zesting, the juice for a splash of flavor, and although you may only need a bit for your seasoning, the remaining juice can be used to flavor sparkling or plain water – a refreshing way to stay hydrated. Save yourself some money and keep fresh citrus fruits on hand, it may not be as convenient, but you are giving yourself the nutrients in the way that Nature intended.
- eating sensibly,
- eating the right combination of foods (plant foods are rich in fiber that helps control appetite), and
- weaning yourself off excess sweets and salty foods which, BTW, tend to stimulate the appetite.
- Skip that extra latte or go easy on the “milk”: consume 1 less glass of milk, or alternative milk – the amount typically used in a single latte (lowfat milk and alternatives generally range from 100 – 120 cal, regular milk about 160 cal) – Skip that extra latte. Cut your order in half (8 oz vs a 16 oz size, or drink 4oz vs 8 oz); and drink it only once a day vs multiple times.
- Go easy on the bread: Truth be told Americans consume far too much bread which not only adds in on calories, but ups the sodium content of daily intake. Did you know bread is the top salt culprit - a major contributor to excess sodium to our diets? 1 less piece of bread can save you 80-100 calories.
- Trim the fat: Cutting the excess fat in your recipes (1 tsp oil vs 1 TBS can save you 80 calories) so you can use less on your salads and less when you cook. Use salt free seasonings such as garlic, onion and various spices and choose citrus to help flavor your meals without the sodium, without the sugar and without the extra fat. But do note that, while we don’t want to OVERDO fat, healthy fats are essential to our diets. Check out this post on Separating FAcT from Fiction
- Set your portions: Sticking to controlled portions (many consume over 1 cup spaghetti at a meal vs 1/2 cup portion size – excess pasta portions can add up to 200 extra calories or more).
- Go half-sies to make it larger?: Instead of a full plate of pasta, you can eat 1 cup’s worth of veggie-filled spaghetti so that half the amount is actually vegetables with not only visually makes your plate a little fuller, more satisfying but includes heart-healthy fiber which will help keep you fuller longer.
- Lose a tooth – your “sweet tooth”, that is (or just keep it under control): Consuming a little portion of sweets (once in a while is one thing), but a daily “addiction” can easily pack on the pounds and keep you reaching for more. Eating more plant foods provides fiber for satiety and healthy vits/minerals, antioxidants to keep your body healthfully fueled, more energized physically and mentally without the “sugar-crash”
Lauren O’Connor, MS, RD