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New Research about Chocolate is Not a Free Pass to Binge

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"Largest Study to Date Links Chocolate to Lower Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Risk" shout the headlines today. You and I know that if you have an eating disorder this good news can be dangerous to your health, unless you think clearly about what is being said.

If this hypothesis causes candy sales to jump we will see how rationalizations, fantasies and wishful thinking influence our economy and harm personal health. This might be a good time to find out if your chocolate cravings are really sugar or fat cravings in disguise. Let's look.

The word chocolate brings up images of candy bars, ice cream cones,fudge brownies and steaming cups of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows or whipped cream. Combine those images with cravings and the distorted thinking of a person with an eating disorder as we have a recipe for disaster.

I went through the medscape literature, not the screaming headlines, thinking about you. This perspective may help you sort out the chocolate findings and prevent you from diving into what you might rationalize as a permission-based binge.

"April 1, 2010 (Nuthetal, Germany) — The largest observational study so far to examine the association between chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease has found that those who ate the most chocolate--around 7.5 g per day--had a 39 percent lower risk of MI and stroke than individuals who ate almost no chocolate (1.7 g per day)."

My perspective: The study does not say sugar or fat. The study refers to chocolate. The lead author Dr. Brian Buijsse (German Institute of Human Nutrition, Nuthetal, Germany) cautions that small amounts of chocolate related to benefits and that he can't suggest that people eat chocolate because he doesn't know the necessary amounts required to achieve positive results yet.

If you have an eating disorder you are in danger of interpreting his words as more freedom to eat as much chocolate as you want. You might even think the more chocolate you eat the better. You can justify a chocolate binge because research seems to back you up.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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