Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH

Try to google the word “chocolate” and soon you will get impression that the whole world is currently going bananas over the amazing health benefits of this delicious weakness.


One author apparently deceived by pseudo-scientific studies on cocoa (chocolate’s key ingredient) wrote that, “After water, cocoa is the single healthiest substance you can put in your mouth. It can easily replace a number of psychiatric drugs for mood, plus it produces the same chemistry in the brain that occurs when we fall in love.”


There are many excellent articles and sources of valuable health information on Dr Joseph Mercola’s website (which I myself often quote during my health lectures) but unfortunately I am not sure I can agree with the one which says that, “Chocolate is good not only for the soul, but for your mind and body”. >

Also the authors of popular magazine “What Doctors Don’t Tell You” (which I personally enjoy and subscribe) repeatedly praise chocolate for its trimendous health benefits:


However, according to some other popular authors and professionals, chocolate can’t be a part of a healthy diet because of the overall nutrient composition, sugar and caloric content that make it unsuitable as a health food. They also suggest that there are much more effective foods and natural remedies to improve diffrent aspect of health including cognitive functions of the brain which do not cause any harmful effect cocoa does. Apart from that, the so called scietific studies that demonstrated health benefits of chocolate seem to be mostly sponsored by the wealthy chocolate industry:


On 5th of January 2015 CBC News included a very interesting article by Kelly Crowe. It states that, “When the New York Times ran this headline last fall, ‘To improve a memory, consider chocolate,’ it quickly became one of the newspaper’s most popularised stories. The study, however, was not about chocolate at all. That’s because chocolate contains almost none of the compound that the researchers were studying. It’s an irony that lies at the heart of a major international scientific effort to find something healthy in the cocoa bean, an effort largely sponsored by the chocolate industry. ‘Unfortunately this is not news that you can use,’ said head researcher Dr. Scott Small, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Columbia University. ‘As a physician, I’m a little worried about the headlines that say, eat chocolate’. Headlines are as irresistible as the chocolate itself, as science transforms chocolate from mere candy into superfood. The truth is that making chocolate destroys the very ingredient that is supposed to make it healthy. That’s why the study used a highly concentrated powder prepared exclusively for research by Mars Inc., the chocolate company, which also funded the study.”


Assuming that regular milk chocolate is deprived of beneficial flavonoids many people switched to dark chocolate not knowing that high percentage of cocoa does not necessarily mean high levels of flavanols.


But even if dark chocolate may contain some of those active ingredients yet at the same time it is much higher in dangerous theobromine than milk chocolate.


Dark chocolate also contains more refined sugar necessary to mask very bitter taste of cocoa. Exactly the same problem is true with regards to the popular now raw cocoa powder as it is also high in theobromine and requires high doses of sweetener.


Dr. Agatha Thrash in her book “Chocolate Versus Carob” says that, “Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause headaches, itching, central nervous system irritation, depression, anxiety, breast cancer or prostatic hypertrophy. It’s very bitter flavour must be masked with sugar, which is another addictive drug. Chocolate is high in calories as it contains a minimum of 50% fat. The oxalic acid in chocolate causes the body to only absorb 5% of the calcium it takes in. Caffeine products (coffee, tea, chocolate, cola drinks, etc.) are known to affect vitamin D receptors in human body, not allowing it to absorb all the ingested amount of the vitamin. Chocolate contains no more than an average of 75 insect and rodent fragments per 3 tablespoons. The visible or solid animal excreta is not to exceed 10 mg per pound. The insect fragments are from an insect similar to our cockroach.”


In addition, chocolate, like caffeine products, seems to contribute to different types of cancer including breast cancer.


Dr. McDoughal doesn’t hesitate to express his negative opinion about chocolate and other stimulants in his book “The McDougall Plan”: “Some of the most popular drugs consumed by people of affluent western nations are found in coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa beans (chocolate) all of which contain methylxanthines (caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine). In 90% of women with fibrocystic disease, these breast tumours disappear in two to six months when methylxanthines are eliminated from the diet. Cancer of the bladder also has been related to methylxanthines. All three of the methylxanthines can stimulate growth of breast cells, causing painful enlargement of breast tissue and lumps. This condition is known as fibrocystic disease.”


Chocolate is also one of the most acidic foods. Only cola drinks produce more acidic environment in our body than chocolate.


Unfortunately, chocolate production is also closely associated with true and still existing today child slavery in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Those kids are deceived by being told to receive money for working at cocoa plantations but when they get there they are never paid, they are forced to work whole day deprived of education, and severely bitten if they try to escape.


According to Payson Center for International Development and Technology Transfer (March 31, 2011), “Almost 2 million children in the Ivory Coast and Ghana exposed to the worst forms of child labour on cocoa farms.


There have been reports of children with terrible leg wounds from harvesting. Many are imprisoned on farms and savagely beaten if they try to escape.


Largest chocolate manufactures know about this problem very well and they promised to solve it but during 10 years they done almost nothing simply because of their greed, indifference, and selfishness.




ANOTHER VIDEO LINK: Cocoa farms in Ivory Coast still using child labour (BBC VIDEO)

READ ALSO: Child Labor and Slavery in the Chocolate Industry


© 2016 Slawomir Gromadzki. All Rights Reserved