Ladies, listen up: A new study says that chocolate cravings do not increase before menstruation, which apparently means all those years of blaming your Hershey’s kiss habit on PMS must now come to an end.
The study, which examined college-aged women’s cravings during different phases of their menstrual cycles, found that women were no more likely to experience an intense craving for chocolate in the days leading up to their period. The stage in the menstrual cycle also didn’t affect how much chocolate they ate, or how intense their cravings were for other high-fat foods, including salty snacks or other sweets.
The researchers at Louisiana State University said:
Further research is needed to determine the role of food cravings in response to emotions across the menstrual cycle.
At the risk of sounding like a cliché, wild-haired, chocolate-crazed Cathy comic, I have to say I’m not sure I completely buy these findings, especially considering how small the study’s sample size was: only 35 women! Add that to the fact that this information contradicts previous studies that found that chocolate does help with PMS symptoms (and that the particular compounds in chocolate may actually alleviate both the cravings and the uncomfortable symptoms at that time o’ the month). There’s also a lot of anecdotal evidence from women all over the world that they crave chocolate and other high-fat foods before their periods, although maybe that’s more a result of social conditioning than any kind of biological drive. Think about all those novelty t-shirts proclaiming how damn crazy we females are for chocolate, especially during hormonal shifts.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s societal conditioning or maybe just the placebo effect, but I’m pretty sure the Ritter Sport chocolate bars I’m obsessed with DO help during the week before my period, when I’m feeling crabby and tired. Or at least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself.