Chocolate is a processed food made from cocoa and other ingredients. Chocolates are loved and eaten by many people around the world. They offer several health benefits such as preventing heart disease. Chocolates help improve blood circulation and improves brain performance in the consumer. Just as too much of everything is bad; too much chocolate is bad for the health of the consumer. Chocolate is available in many forms, bar, drinking beverage and candy form.

Chocolate consumption is a major cause of obesity in children and grown-ups as well. Processed chocolates are rich in saturated fats. These fats are not easily broken down and are stored in the cells of the body. If the body does not make use of this fat through vigorous exercise, it is stored, increasing the size if the body cells and hence the weight of the individual.

The most alarming side effect of too much chocolate consumption is the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Chocolates contain antioxidants that reduce the risk of these diseases, but too much consumption also increases this risk. Saturated fat build-up from chocolate consumption over a long time eventually build up in the blood stream, impairing blood flow. Over a long time, this may result in increased blood pressure and its associated problems.

Chocolate is known to contain one of the highest lead levels present in food items. Cocoa beans are known to contain little lead but may absorb more from the shells during processing. Processed chocolate is known to contain a high of 0.0965 µg of lead per 100 grams. Chocolate consumption over a long time can therefore cause lead poisoning. This lead poisoning is sufficient to cause IQ impairment and reduced brain functioning in children.

Cocoa also contains substances that affect the chemistry of the body; Anandamide, Arginine, Dopamine, Methylated xanthenes, Caffeine, Oxalic acid and Phenethyl among others. Caffeine has the ability to impair performance of the nervous system. Chocolate consumption over a long time can also result in caffeine addiction; the more caffeine consumed, the more the body asks for. Chocolate is said to be responsible for most insomnia cases due to the presence of the above mentioned substances.

Chocolate also has the potential of causing tooth decay in children. Processed chocolate contains a high amount of sugar and when consumed by children over a long time can decay their teeth. Sugar left on the teeth converts to acid erodes the outer coating on the teeth, exposing them to organisms that cause decay. The sugar also serves as food for organisms that cause decay.

Chocolate can also be a major cause of diabetes. It contains a lot of sugar and when consumed over a long time, can increase the level of sugar in the blood. Diabetes sufferers get a lot of other complications and eventually die.

You only hear people talk about the good chocolate can do to your body, but hardly about the side effects. It is important for chocolate fans to patronize their delicacy in moderation so as to avoid these side effects.

About Author / Additional Info: