Lately, tons of news about benefits of chocolate and cocoa products for health, supported by scientific researches, have been published on various media, to delude the consumers and make them purchase more chocolate products. But is chocolate really so beneficial for our health?
These myths try to convince us that eating chocolate:
- Reduces the risk of heart diseases and cancer;
- Does not cause weight gain;
- Prolongs your life;
- Reduces stress;
- Has pain relieving and other positive effects to your health.
But all those “facts” are actually proven by studies supported by chocolate interest groups – manufacturers and retailers with one agenda in mind: increasing their sales.
Researches made by independent organizations, though, give quite different results. They proven that isolated compounds found in cocoa, indeed, have some beneficial effect to human health: it could stabilize blood pressure, increase glucose metabolism. But people can enjoy those effects only if they consume pure unprocessed cocoa. Manufactured chocolate, however, contains only about 20% of actual cocoa, plus other, less healthy ingredients, like sugar, milk fats, oils, which reduce all benefits found in pure cocoa, to zero.
The good news is, premium grade dark chocolate has less negative effects to your health, but also can hardly be called beneficial. It contains less sugar, less fats and oils other than those naturally found in cocoa beans, they don’t increase the risk of heart diseases, but still become a rich source of calories. While lower grade cocoa products and milk chocolate do create danger of cardiovascular disease and other health problems.
As chocolate is a rich source of calories, sugar and fats, it is no less harmful and fattening than other junk food. For the same reason, it causes and contributes to all the conditions and diseases caused by consumption of processed sugar: heart diseases, diabetes, inflammations, yeast infections, osteoporosis, obesity and others.
Another proven negative effect of chocolate is that it really causes addiction, as well as other sweet and fat products and junk foods. Researches show that cocoa contains substances that are related to cannabis (marijuana) with stimulant, anti-depressant and opiate-like effect. When brain’s opiate receptors blocked, cravings for chocolate, sweets and fats disappears, which confirms this theory.
While no one wants to make you quit eating your favorite dessert, keep in mind that the rumors about benefits of chocolate are just too exaggerated. You can safely eat anything you like in moderation, but using chocolate as an anti-depressant or pain-killer is not the best idea.