I have a sweet tooth and I love chocolate. I’ve just shared my favorite chocolate dessert here. But then I wonder, as a doctor and passionate cook, is chocolate bad or good for me?

I found an article that claims 7 health benefits of chocolate:

  • Dark chocolate is loaded with fiber, iron, copper, and manganese
  • Chocolate has a large number of antioxidants
  • Flavenols in chocolate may relax blood vessels and lower blood pressure
  • Dark chocolate can lower “bad” cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol
  • The antioxidant effects of chocolate may lower risk of heart disease
  • The same flavenols that may lower blood pressure may also protect skin from sun damage
  • In addition to helping blood pressure and skin, flavenols could protect your brain as well

One downside of chocolate is that it is so bitter, that if has to be combined with sugar to be palatable. This piece mentions some of the downsides of chocolate including its association with acne, migraine, diabetes, and weight gain. In addition, it contains stimulants similar to caffeine to it can worsen mastalgia (breast pain.)

I think the take-home is that consuming small quantities of chocolate that contains as little sugar as possible (that is as dark as you can tolerate) may have enough health benefit to counteract the detrimental effects of the sugar you consume with the chocolate.