diets · eating · eating disorders · sports nutrition

Chocolate: A yummy delicious treat

I’ve had a bag of these in the house for awhile as my go to treat in lieu of dessert. They’re delicious.

Unlike Tracy, I haven’t broken up with chocolate.

But while the chocolates are often the yummiest part of my day, chocolates are not necessarily the healthiest thing I could eat. That’s fine by me. I didn’t choose them for health reasons. I was looking for the yum. They’re a treat

Chocolate isn’t evil but it’s not exactly a health food ether. Here’s the nutritional facts.

So these are an occasional treat, not a health food. I don’t eat them as meals. They’re pleasure. An indulgence.

Maybe that’s a bit fast. Isn’t it dark chocolate supposed to be good for all that ails you? I have friends who eat dark chocolate to help with the common cold. Others who swear it helps with arthritis.

Is it really good for you? The Guardian weighs in this week.

They talk about the rebranding of chocolate as a health food and how that occurred.

“Recent years have seen chocolate undergo another transformation, this time at the hands of branding experts. Sales of milk chocolate are stagnating as consumers become more health-conscious. Manufacturers have responded with a growing range of premium products promoted with such words as organic, natural, cacao-rich and single-origin. The packets don’t say so, but the message we’re supposed to swallow is clear: this new, improved chocolate, especially if it is dark, is good for your health. Many people have swallowed the idea that it’s a “superfood”. Except it isn’t. So how has this magic trick-like metamorphosis been achieved?”

So chocolate is supposed to help with blood pressure, dementia, stroke risk and the common cold but the problem is the quality of the research which is almost all funded by the chocolate industry. Go read the Guardian story for details.

James Fell in his anti dark chocolate rant gets it right, I think.

…If you’re buying into the health washing while rationing nibbles as your reward for sticking to a soul-destroying diet, just stop. Eat a mostly healthy diet, and then when you feel like eating chocolate, you eat the shit out of it. None of this “I’ll just have a square of dark chocolate now and then” bullshit. Get some fucking Turtles, or a Caramilk bar, or a Crispy Crunch, or one of those triangle shaped Toblerone things. Get a Jersey Milk and dip that sucker in the Skippy peanut butter and say, “Mmmm … G-M-Oh-my-God-that-tastes-good.” Eat your favorite chocolate and LIVE, DAMMIT!

Want to know more about chocolate? There’s a talk on the chemistry and physics of chocolate by the University of Guelph’s Prof. Alejandro Marangoni in Waterloo, Ont., by the Royal Canadian Institute for Science on April 18.

Enjoy the talk and the occasional chocolate. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s a health food. Or worse, don’t eat dark chocolate in a medicinal manner not enjoying it at all.

2 thoughts on “Chocolate: A yummy delicious treat

  1. Your dark chocolate/milk chocolate discussion got me thinking about this: When I eat dark-ish chocolate, I don’t want very much of it. I get taste-saturated and am done (full disclosure: I’m not the biggest chocolate lover; I like it but it doesn’t transport me). But when I eat milk chocolate, especially the more commercial manufactured products, it feels different. That sort of fake-y manufactured taste triggers something emotionally complicated– maybe some guilt about how I think this is “bad” food, but also some emotional desire for it. I can eat a whole lot more reese’s cups than fancy dark chocolate, and the dark chocolate stays in my house forever, unlike the nestle’s crunch type chocolate.
    I bet others have this sort of dichotomous relationship with “good” chocolate or cookies or other treats and “bad” treats.

    Like

  2. Why would anyone pay attention to a writer who likens dark chocolate in a trick-or-treat bag to a hate crime?
    I’ve always preferred dark chocolate, even when I was a small child, and I hardly ever eat milk chocolate. Like Catherine, I’ve found that dark chocolate is a lot more satisfying in its taste. Why bother with milk chocolate at all?
    And I don’t have ANY complicated emotions about enjoying my daily bite or two of dark chocolate.

    Liked by 1 person

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