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The Economics of Chocolate$
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Mara P. Squicciarini and Johan Swinnen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198726449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198726449.001.0001

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Nutritional and Health Effects of Chocolate

Nutritional and Health Effects of Chocolate

(p.134) 7 Nutritional and Health Effects of Chocolate
The Economics of Chocolate

Stefania Moramarco

Loreto Nemi

Oxford University Press

While, for centuries, chocolate was praised for its nutritional and health properties, in recent years it has often been associated with negative health effects (mostly related to obesity). This chapter reviews the health, nutritional, psychological, and aphrodisiac effects of chocolate, from its traditional use in Central and Latin America to its more recent appreciation as a functional food. It finds that chocolate consumption can be beneficial for human health, since it is inversely associated to the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and the development of chronic diseases, cancer, and other age-related diseases, as well as having positive effects on moods and human behaviour. However, the choice of high-quality chocolate (dark chocolate with lower fat and sugar) integrated into a balanced diet is crucial to obtain the health benefits described, and to avoid transforming a ‘divine food’ into a ‘junk food’.

Keywords:   anti-oxidants, aphrodisiac effects, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dark chocolate, functional food, human health, obesity

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