Chocolate: fact or fiction

Dietitian Heather Miller, who holds clinics in Balla and Castlebar, outlines what is fact or fiction when it comes to chocolate.

The majority of people enjoy chocolate. Some will nibble, others will devour an entire bar. It may taste good, but what about its effect on your health?

Chocolate and fat

It contains saturated fat which can increase blood pressure. However it does contain a monounsaturated fat (a good fat ) called oleic acid also found in olive oil which makes up one third of chocolate.

Chocolate and allergies

Allergies to chocolate are very uncommon. If you have been diagnosed with allergies by a recognised allergist then you will need to check labels of all foods. Allergies to nuts is very common and many chocolates either contain nuts or will stipulate that they have traces of nuts so be careful to check.

Chocolate and headaches

Research shows that most headaches and chocolate intake are not related. Experts suggest that it is more closely linked to stress, irregular sleep patterns, hunger, and hormonal change.

Chocolate and hypersensitivity

Paediatricians have found no statistically significant link between the sugar found in chocolate and ADHD.

Chocolate and cravings

Studies show that we do not become addicted to chocolate but rather desire it as we enjoy the taste and the sensation of eating it.

The bottom line

Chocolate should be eaten in moderation, in addition to a healthy balanced diet and taking exercise daily.

If you would like further information, book an appointment with Heather Miller. Areas of expertise include weight loss, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, sports nutrition and performance, food allergies and hypersensitivities, pregnancy, children’s nutritional deficiencies, oncology related weight loss, and taste changes and disorders of the digestive system. Call Heather Miller on 087 172 3664 or email [email protected].


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