How Much Chocolate Can You Eat a Day?

How Much Chocolate Can You Eat a Day
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Let’s face it: the world loves chocolate. So much that analysts have been saying for years that we’re about to run out of chocolate. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet, but it does bring one question to mind: how much chocolate can a person eat in one day?

The recommended daily intake of chocolate is about 1 ounce or 30 grams. Staying within this range lowers the risk of weight gain and other harmful side effects. It’s also recommended that you stick to dark chocolate as much as possible.

An ounce of chocolate a day might not sound like a lot, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Let’s take a closer look at what happens if you eat too much chocolate.

How Much Chocolate Is Too Much?

Going past the 1-ounce limit increases our risk of weight gain and tooth decay, along with increased cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Continuous excessive chocolate consumption will result in high cholesterol, compromised dental health, and even type 2 diabetes. You’d have to eat several ounces of chocolate daily to reach this level. [1]

Let’s say you’re going through a particularly tough time, and the only thing that can give you comfort is chocolate. You fill your house with a warehouse’s worth of sweet treats and spend your day eating all of them. What happens now?

If you somehow manage to eat at least 16 pounds (7.2 kilograms) of chocolate in one sitting, you’ll experience “death by chocolate.” Believe it or not, this lovely cake flavor is actually a legitimate medical problem, and it occurs when there’s too much theobromine in our bodies. [2]

Excessive theobromine in our system leads to internal bleeding, seizures, and heart attack. Although that sounds scary, you’d have to eat the equivalent of 1,900 Hershey’s Kisses before reaching that point. [3]

How Much Chocolate Should You Eat a Day?

Alright, so you really like chocolate and can’t see yourself giving it up. But you also don’t want to compromise your health by eating too much of it. What’s the magic number?

Here’s some bad news for you: you can only eat up to 1 ounce (30 grams) of chocolate per day before it becomes an unhealthy habit. That’s not a lot considering most candy bars are easily over that amount. The good news: you can do it every day. [4]

The secret is to consider your daily chocolate intake a treat instead of a full-blown snack. Use it to treat yourself after a stressful day or as a sweet dessert after a meal.

The next thing to consider is the kind of chocolate you consume. For most people, chocolate means the standard stuff we see in stores. The main problem is that they’re loaded with sugars and fats and have high-calorie content.

So to avoid gaining excess weight while enjoying your daily sweet treat, stick to dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the better because your bar has fewer unhealthy additives. [5]

Why Is Chocolate Bad for You?

No one likes to be told that their food is bad for them, especially when it comes to chocolate. But before you go get your pitchforks, hear me out.

Though chocolate is not entirely the devil’s spawn, eating it in large quantities on a daily basis can have serious health consequences. Aside from the “death by chocolate” affliction mentioned earlier, excess chocolate consumption can lead to one or more of the following problems:

  • Excess weight gain from sugar and saturated fat
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular problems
  • Higher blood sugar and blood pressure levels

The only way to avoid them is to limit how much chocolate you eat in a day and to observe the kinds you eat. The severity of these effects depends on whether you eat dark chocolate or highly-processed milk chocolate.

Why Is Chocolate Good for You?

On the flip side, eating a controlled amount of chocolate daily or every other day can also benefit your health. With a bit of discipline, regular chocolate consumption can give you the following benefits:

  • Help protect the heart 
  • Increase insulin sensitivity and decrease the risk of diabetes
  • Improve blood flow and lower blood pressure

But before you grab your favorite chocolate bar to reap these benefits, take note: you can only enjoy these if you eat dark chocolate. That’s because dark chocolate has more flavanols than milk or white chocolate. The more additives the cacao gets, the less flavanol a chocolate bar retains. [6]

If you still want to enjoy chocolate every day, consider eating one that’s at least 70 percent dark. Remember that you can still only eat 1 ounce, or 30 grams, per day. Because dark chocolate has a moderately high amount of calories, eating over an ounce a day will only lead to weight gain.

To sum up, moderation is always the key to enjoying anything healthily, and chocolate is no exception. There are lots of them available in stores, which could make overeating a problem. But as long as we’re vigilant and careful, you, too, can enjoy a sweet treat every day without suffering consequences.

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