How much chocolate is safe for a diabetic

Although we all love to savor our favorite chocolate, we have reservations about its impact on our health. A few days ago, Barry Callebaut, which is the largest cocoa and chocolate factory in the world, detected a batch of Salmonella bacteria in its factory in Wieze. Salmonella is a bacterium that causes infections such as salmonellosis, typhoid fever, diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Consuming chocolate in moderation increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and related complications.

To understand and decode some of the myths about the consequences attributed to chocolate consumption, we spoke to Dr. Anam Golandaz, Clinical Dietitian at Masina Hospital in Mumbai, about the impact chocolates have on people suffering from migraine, mental health issues, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She suggested that “moderation in drinking” was the key to satisfying our craving.

Could you list some benefits of cocoa consumption?

Cocoa is made up of flavonoids and is a powerful antioxidant. It has many benefits, including increased blood flow, reduced risk of clotting, and decreased risk of stroke and other coronary heart disease. It also improves brain function as it increases levels of serotonin or the happy hormone in the blood. In addition, cocoa is excellent for the skin.

Can chocolate cause bacterial infections and intestinal worms?

It totally depends on the quality of the chocolate. Good quality ones contain polyphenols that promote the growth of good bacteria like lactobacilli. It’s good for your intestines and gut health. Poor quality chocolates put you at risk of infections. In terms of quantity, healthy people, i.e. those without other conditions, can consume 30-60g of dark chocolate per day. If it is milk chocolate, the amount is 10-15 g per day.

How does chocolate consumption affect migraine patients?

Consuming chocolate may not necessarily be considered a migraine trigger, but when combined with other conditions such as stress, hormonal imbalance, disturbed sleep cycle, chocolate can act as a trigger. It is one of the food triggers that can work in combination with other foods like sugar, milk and cheese. Migraine therefore cannot be directly attributed to the consumption of chocolate, but I would suggest that patients with additional illnesses refrain from it.

How does chocolate consumption affect mental health issues?

Chocolate acts as an antidepressant as it increases the production of serotonin, regulates your mood and also contributes to your well-being. Research suggests that chocolate works to reduce your level of anxiety.

Is chocolate recommended for a diabetic patient? If so, what type of chocolate and how much?

If the patient follows a healthy and balanced diet according to his diabetic condition, we can advise him to consume one ounce (20 to 30 g) of dark chocolate per day. But if the person is already eating unhealthily, I recommend avoiding it altogether. I would advise them to consume dark chocolate that is low in sugar, calories and saturated fat.

Should people with cardiovascular disease be advised to consume chocolate?

For these patients, the quality and quantity of chocolate would make a difference. Like diabetic patients, I would recommend them to consume dark chocolate in the same amount, i.e. 20-30g per day, provided they follow a balanced diet and do not consume additional saturated fats. Chocolate is also considered a food that can reduce HDL levels, if consumed in the right quantity and of good quality.

What other illnesses could be attributed to the overconsumption of chocolates?

Excess will increase your calorie consumption, which could eventually lead to metabolic disorders and obesity. Once obese, you become vulnerable to a whole host of other diseases. Even when consuming dark chocolate, you must remember that at the end of the day, it contains added saturated fat. Thus, always look at the nutritional table because each manufacturer works with a different ratio.

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