Is Chocolate Really Healthy?
As a chocoholic, I have to constantly remind myself that there really is nothing health promoting about the stuff, and when I succumb to it, it's all about the taste!
Here's a great article about chocolate.
Coincidentally, cacao is really the same as cocoa...they all come from the same bean and what chocolate, raw or cooked is made from. Cacao is the revisited term for cocoa, which is how the trendy raw crowd refers to cocoa.
Is Raw Chocolate Healthy Or Even Raw?
First of all I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year. I look forward to sharing lots of powerful new information with you in 2006.
Have you been convinced that raw cacao is some kind of superfood or food of the gods? Below I'm going to share with you a number of resources that thoroughly discuss this issue. That way you can better make up your own mind.
I have tried raw chocolate or cacao nibs. From the first one I ate, I immediately felt a sense of stimulation. Stimulants like caffeine, drugs and even vitamin supplements are not things that promote health.
If you are being stimulated, your body is at the same time being enervated. A stimulant is simply a toxin to your body. The reason you feel the extra energy is because your body goes into a heightened elimination mode. You're body requires extra energy to eliminate this toxin and it releases reserve sugar into your bloodstream to provide it with the extra energy to eliminate the toxin.
** You Don't Get Energy from Caffeine and Stimulants, You Actually Lose Energy **
With caffeine for instance, the body is able to completely rid itself of the caffeine within two hours of ingesting it. All the extra energy you feel is literally robbing you of minerals, nutrients and energy so that you're body can eliminate this very toxic substance as quickly as it can.
This is the problem with so many claims to the health benefits of certain foods. These superfoods, may have some valuable nutrients in them, but their overall effect on your health might be more negative than positive. You always have to look to the overall effect of a food on your health, not just to a few nutrients in the food.
In my research of the nutrients in chocolate, there is no valuable nutrient in it, that isn't easily available in a variety fruits and vegetables. Remember, raw fruits and vegetables are the real superfoods for humans.
You can confirm this for yourself by using this great nutritional website:
You can put in any nutrient and it will tell you which foods are highest in that nutrient. Plus so much more.
*** Is Raw Chocolate Even Raw? ***
This is an interesting topic that has been highly debated. There are some experts who claim there is no way to make cacao taste like chocolate unless it is heated to cooking temperatures. This even goes for those so-called raw cacao companies that ferment their cacao beans. Supposedly they still have to heat the beans in order for them to taste any good at all.
I've read about this from several sources. Here's a post by Dr. Douglas Graham about this topic.
From: Dr. Doug Graham (DrGraham.vegsource.com)
Date: June 7, 2005 at 3:49 am PST
In Reply to: Naked Chocolate posted by Jamie Clark on June 5, 2005 at 5:35 pm:
Briefly, ever so briefly,
First, there is no raw chocolate being sold, anywhere. In order to taste like chocolate, cacao beans must be heated. I have lived in the tropics and have tried to bring out the chocolate taste in other ways, it simply cannot be done. There is no such thing as raw chocolate.
Even the chocolate that is fermented so said to be raw is eventually heated, and high enough to be cooked.
I am sure you know that heating the proteins in chocolate denatures them and causes them to become carcinogenic. I assume you are aware that heating the carbohydrates caramelizes them, adversely affecting their GI rating and also creating carcinogens. It made worldwide headlines three years ago that heating fats, even the fats in chocolate, results in the production of carcinogens, so that is no news to you, I am sure. It also results in the production of enzyme resistant protein bonds that are a causative agent in conditions ranging from arthritis to allergies, leaky gut, and many others. The double bonds of the fats in chocolate become triple bonds under the influence of heat making them physiologically nonviable for humans and adversely impacting upon our cholesterol levels.
As far as the components of chocolate, essentially it is a cocktail of toxic chemicals and drugs.
Cacao beans contain:
methylxanthines such as the stimulant drugs known as caffeine, theobromine, and theophyllin, all of which are known to produce permanent degenerative alterations in cellular protoplasm.
More tannin than tea.
There is not the time to go into the toxic impact of each of this drugs, but if you want such information I can supply it via a consultation. I am sure you can do a search on these substances to find their debilitating effects on human health.
So, chocolate is not raw, is defintely not health food, and cannot be considered a superfood. There is nothing about marketing chocolate that can be considered a positive except for the possible bottom line profits that it may offer.
Hope this helps,
Here's the direct link to his post:
This is a very informative post:
For the whole discussion, you can continue reading here:
From Another Forum:
Plus if you'll discover proof that a major raw food author plagiarized his first book.
*** Is Raw Chocolate Healthy? ***
Raw Cacao: another stimulant disguised as a healthy food
by Frédéric Patenaude
Many of my readers have been asking me what I think of the whole raw cacao craze. For those who don't know, raw cacao beans are now sold by different raw-food companies as the latest "superfood." Cacao beans are traditionally roasted and used to make chocolate. Now, raw-foodists have found a raw version of the beloved bean and are apparently using it for its magical properties.
First, let me start by explaining what my own personal use of cacao is. I've known for a long time that cacao is a stimulant. Not as strong as coffee, but its stimulating "qualities" are easy to spot when your body is not used to eating such foods. Because of this, I often used carob powder in my recipes. Carob powder is made from a fruit and has a taste that reminds of chocolate. It is naturally sweet. Instead of being a stimulant, carob is a mineral rich food and has a calming effect. So, like most raw-foodists, I used carob powder in my recipes. But, then one day, I decided to use cacao powder. I figured: if I'm going to make something that tastes like chocolate, why not use the real thing? I've noticed that cacao has a stimulating effect, but since I was using it occasionally (i.e. less than once a month) and just for fun in some recipes, I was not too bothered by that little indiscretion. However, I never considered it to be a health food.
Now, cacao beans are sold to us at an exorbitant price under the assumption that it's one of the best things we could ever eat. I couldn't disagree more.
First of all, cacao beans are not really food. If you found them in nature, you wouldn't eat the seeds. You would eat the fruit, which is apparently delicious, and throw away the seeds. Even if you wanted to eat the seeds, they would not taste like chocolate. In order for the cacao seeds to taste like chocolate and become the cacao beans that we know, they have to be fermented first. They are fairly bitter, indicating the presence of a poison. And when I say a "poison," I'm not making this up. Just do a little research and you'll discover that cacao contains many chemicals with a stimulating effects, such as theobromine and caffeine.
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A popular article on raw cacao beans claims that cacao "increase(s) your focus and alertness and contains nutrients to keep you happy."
My answer to that is the same as has been said and is being said about coffee. The fact is that what people actually confuse with "alertness" is actually an adrenal response to the stress that the body has to deal with when eliminating the toxins found in cacao beans. What you get is NOT energy. What you experience as energy is actually your body working hard to establish balance (homeostasis) again! It's like whipping a horse. Eventually, it will fall down.
Here's an excerpt from Neal Barnard's book, "Breaking the Food Seduction":
"Researchers at the University of Michigan brought out the truth about chocolate. In a research study, they gave 26 volunteers a drug called 'noxalone.' They then offered them a tray filled with Snicker's Bars, M&Ms, chocolate chip cookies, and Oreos. Normally, these snacks would have quickly disappeared. But, the drug knocked out the desire for chocolate. A candy bar was not much more exciting than a crust of dry bread.
“Noxalone is an opiate blocker. That is, it stops heroin, morphine, and other narcotics from affecting the brain. And, it blocks the effects of chocolate, too. This research study showed that chocolate's appeal does not come from its creamy texture or deep brown color. Chocolate stimulates the same part of the brain that morphine acts on. For all intents and purposes, chocolate is a drug - not necessarily a bad one and not a terribly strong one, but strong enough, nonetheless, to keep us coming back for more."
Many people would argue that when cacao is not cooked, these chemicals do not have the same effect on the body. But yet, those same people who say that actually admit to eating cacao beans for their stimulating effect! Many people have reported not being able to fall asleep if they eat cacao beans late at night and that they are still looking for the "best" time of the day to eat them. Others tell me that when they eat cacao beans, they get so much energy, but then have a "down" later on. Does that remind you of something?
If you like the taste, you could use some cacao once in a while in a recipe. But don't fool yourself into thinking that there's somehow something really good about this. Personally, I would consider using cacao when making a special desert for a special occasion. I don't recommend eating cacao otherwise. I don't find anything special in it. I don't buy the whole raw cacao craze and I don't think it is worth the price that is charged for it.
Remember: A rose by any other name is ... just as thorny. Have fun! ;-)