Chocolate - Good or Bad?

With the many people I see in consultation chocolate is the most common craving by far that people tell me about.

Magnesium Deficiency

Chocolate cravings are often associated with Magnesium deficiency and this is something that can corrected using nutritional supplements and/or homeopathy.

Stories of Health Benefits

Stories about health benefits of consuming cocoa products have increasingly made the news following the discovery that they are an excellent source of a type of antioxidant which is believed to protect against heart disease, cancer, and various other health problems.

Chocolate manufacturers and retailers have been running with these findings by both trying to make chocolate lovers feel less guilty about their addiction and taretting the more health-conscious consumer with "research studies" praising the supposed benefits of eating chocolate, such as:

• Releases endorphins in the brain which serve as pain-relievers,

• Appetite increases without causing weight gain,

• Sugar in chocolate may reduce stress levels while also having a calming and pain relieving effect,

• Does not cause acne and skin problems,

• Isn't related to migraines,

• Increases life expectancy,

• Reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer.

When you take a closer look at these studies, if you discard the studies funded by chocolate interest groups, you will see that the ones left behind offered conflicting results.

Cocoa

As expected some isolated compounds in cocoa did show certain health benefits, with the research being positive largely because the "co-factors" (all the other detrimental ingredients in chocolate) were not part of the study.

If people were to consume pure cocoa, then they might indeed be able to enjoy a few health benefits, including a positive effect on blood pressure and glucose metabolism, however the majority of people eat processed chocolate with all the other less desirable ingredients (such as added sugar, corn syrup, milk fats / dairy cream, hydrogenated oils, and more), and where the actual cocoa content may be less than 20%.

Sugar

Sugar has broad destructive effects throughout the body, suppressing digestive enzymes and causing inflammation and toxicity, and it is the sugar content of chocolate that is the main problem. Hydrogenated oils will contribute to circulatory congestion and other health problems.

While sugar has been shown to have some minimal pain relieving effects, it's highly unlikely that that anyone is going to reach for sugar if they have a migraine or some other form of pain.

While cocoa and sugar do not "cause" acne, the sugar present in chocolate will most certainly make acne worse.

The chemicals in chocolate have been shown to trigger migraine headaches. Of all the foods isolated that triggered the most attacks, chocolate was an offender about 30% of the time.

Dark Chocolate

Premium grade dark chocolate is preferential to milk chocolate or lower grade chocolate, particularly in relation to cholesterol levels, although regular consumption is still high in calories.

Cocoa products also contain stimulants and are addictive in nature.

Summary

Generally speaking, people who eat a lot of chocolate sooner or later start to feel the effects on their health. Chocolate is basically a junk food. As is the case with any other junk food it needs to be kept to a minimum and ideally avoided altogether.

I hope all the chocolate lovers find this useful.

Best wishes,

Nick Dale
Naturopath
Tel: 08 9397 9124
Mobile: 0412 596789

 

I am available at the Galleria from Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am - 5pm and late night shopping on Thursday's. Come by and see me and give me an update on how you are going when you can

 


 

 


 


 

Nick Dale, Naturopath Perth and surrounding areas
4 Collier Road, Morley, WA 6062
Tel: (08) 9397 9124, Mobile: 0412 596789, nd@perth-naturopath.com

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