Halloween Candy's Hidden Benefit Will Make You Smile

woman eating chocolate squareAll these years that I've known I have a major sweet tooth, I've worried there weren't many benefits to my penchant for all things sugar-laced. Some experts even say the stuff is a drug -- gasp! -- and even though I'm an unrepentant fan of desserts, I could definitely see how that might be the case. Nonetheless, science has turned up a funny associated trait of those of us with sweet teeth -- a just as sweet personality! Awww.

In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55 students rated their liking of 50 different foods from five major taste types: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and spicy. A liking of sweets was linked with a higher level of "agreeableness," aka a tendency to be friendly, cooperative, and compassionate. Ha, interesting, right? And in another experiment, people were randomly given milk chocolate, a bland cracker, or no food. The chocolate eaters were more willing to help another person compared to the two other groups. Hrrmmm!

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Well, honestly, it does seem like a silly experiment and we can't jump to any major scientific conclusions -- especially with such a small sample group -- but I wouldn't dismiss the idea that eating sweets could very well make us sweeter. Chocolate, in particular, probably makes us happier (you know it gets the endorphins and anti-depressant serotonin flowing, and it is definitely a PMS life-saver for many of us!). And I know I'm more likely to help someone out when I'm in a good mood, right? Definitely in a good mood after having a piece of chocolate!! (Oh, and by the way, the higher the cacao percentage of your chocolate, the higher the antioxidants and the better for you!)

If nothing else, hearing that the occasional (yes, everything in moderation is best, of course) treat just might have this "fringe benefit," if you will -- particularly right before Halloween! (Now ... how about some pretzel M&Ms?!)

Do you think people who like sweets are sweeter? Or what about sweets -- or chocolate specifically -- making people sweeter?

 

Image via Steven Depolo/Flickr

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