Can you get sick from eating too much chocolate?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you get sick from eating too much chocolate?”. Moreover, we will review the different types of chocolates, the benefits of eating chocolate, and side effects of eating too many chocolates.

Can you get sick from eating too much chocolate?

Yes, you can get sick from eating too much chocolate. Chocolate is liked by almost everyone but if eaten in excess it poses potential health issues. As it is said, everything in excess is bad.The key is to consume limited portions to prevent any adverse effects while enjoying its benefits.

Though chocolate can be beneficial for most people, some people are sensitive to caffeine and other compounds present in chocolate which leads to serious allergic reactions.

Different types of chocolates

  • Dark chocolate: 

It contains sugar, cocoa, vanilla extract and an emulsifier i.e., lecithin, that helps in mixing the ingredients smoothly. The higher the amount of cocoa mass, the darker the chocolate will be.

  • White chocolate:

This type of chocolate contains sugar, cocoa butter, milk fat, milk solids, vanilla extract and lecithin as an emulsifier.

  • Milk chocolate:

Milk chocolate contains a larger amount of sugar and lesser amount of cocoa as compared to dark chocolate. It also contains lecithin, vanilla extract, cocoa butter, and milk solids.

  • Baking chocolate: 

Baking chocolate is totally made up of cocoa with no sugar. It is used in baking, to make candies, or desserts.

Benefits of eating chocolates

Chocolates have various health benefits if consumed in limited quantities. A few are listed below:

  • Helps in improving mood
  • Acts as an energy booster 
  • Helps to lower blood pressure 
  • Helps increase memory
  • Helps in lowering cholesterol levels
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems

Moreover, you can also protect your skin from the sun damage, if you eat chocolate every day.

How much chocolate is too much chocolate?

If you are eating a square of dark chocolate every now and then, that is okay. But, if you consume a whole bar of chocolate, then that is too much chocolate and you need to limit the quantity. 

Don’t worry, you can’t die from eating too much chocolate.

Symptoms of cocoa allergy

Since chocolates contain a variety of nutrients, allergic reactions can develop against any one of them. Symptoms of cocoa allergy include:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Swollen tongue, throat or lips
  • Stomach cramps
  • wheezing cough

These allergic symptoms can be due to anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening. 

Symptoms of caffeine intolerance

People who are sensitive to caffeine, can have following symptoms:

  • Anxiety and increased heart rate
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Nervous behavior
  • Diarrhea and/or stomach pain
  • Insomnia 
  • Nausea

People who are allergic to caffeine will also experience these symptoms when drinking tea, coffee, or other energy drinks.

Side effects of excessive chocolate consumption

The possible side effects chocolate can have on an individual, depends upon how the person’s body responds to different compounds present in chocolate. So, it can be good for one person but not for others. However, excessive consumption will definitely cause some side effects on your body. These include:

  • Anxiety and irregular heartbeat: one major component present in chocolate is caffeine, which on one hand, increases energy and uplifts mood. but excessive consumption can lead to anxiety problems. Additionally, too much caffeine can be harmful for patients with a heart disease.
  • Weight gain and diabetes: As chocolate contains high amounts of fats, it effectively contributes to weight gain. Moreover, high sugar content can be dangerous for people diagnosed with diabetes. 
  • Kidney troubles: Chocolate consists of a huge amount of cadmium metal, which is toxic. People with kidney diseases have a hard time removing this toxin from the body, especially if consumed in excess. 
  • Gastrointestinal issues: Excessive chocolate consumption can lead to a variety of gastrointestinal issues. Especially, if you suffer from diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome, high amounts of chocolate in your diet can make them worse. In addition to this, chocolate increases the acidity of the stomach leading to acid reflux issues, heartburn and stomach ulcers. 
  • Acne: Acne is the most common side effect of eating too much chocolate. It can be triggered due to different compounds present in chocolate i.e., cocoa butter, milk, cocoa solids or other substances.

Other possible side effects include: nausea, dizziness, sweating, insomnia, palpitations, hypertension, nervous and cardiovascular disorders. 

Avoiding reactions to chocolate

People who are allergic to chocolate should always read the labels before buying any food product such as candy bars, milkshakes, baked goods etc.

Chocolate substitutes

Carob- a legume- is the most common substitute for chocolates. It creates a cocoa-like powder that can be used as an alternative to chocolate in baked desserts, chocolate bars and drinks. 

The best part is it is caffeine-free, making it a good choice for people who are allergic to caffeine. 

Conclusion 

In this article, we have answered the query, “Can you get sick from eating too much chocolate?”. Moreover, we have discussed the benefits of eating chocolates, different types of chocolate and side effects of eating excessive chocolates and chocolate allergies. 

References

https://livehealthy.chron.com/bad-points-chocolate-6712.html

http://www.sanchest.com/side-effects-of-eating-too-much-chocolate.html

https://www.livestrong.com/article/411407-side-effects-of-eating-too-much-chocolate/
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270272

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.