Chocolate is a way in which a fair number of you satisfy your sweet tooth, according to the question I posed on Facebook . The Weston A. Price Foundation considers it an “avoid”, on their list of dietary dangers.
I am likely one of the few who isn’t drawn to chocolate?! so it is easy for me to avoid. But, clearly for many, it isn’t something they are willing or inclined to give up!
In her book Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon Morell writes: “Chocolate cravings are a sign of magnesium deficiency.” She also writes, “It has been said that if coffee were introduced as a new drug today, it would not receive FDA approval. It is best to avoid all sources of caffeine and related substances—not just colas but also coffee and tea, decongestants, pep pills, aspirin, diuretics and—we’re sorry to say—chocolate.”
She has several side bars in her book on the topic as well:
“Suspected as a migraine causative for decades, chocolate has been cleared on the basis of insufficient evidence. Now things may be changing, thanks to new findings from a study by biochemist Vivette Glover —Twenty heavy migraine sufferers volunteered for the study—12 eating real chocolate and eight eating a carob placebo made to taste identical to the chocolate. Twenty-four hours after volunteers ate their test samples, five chocolate eaters experienced pounding migraines while the placebo eaters showed no symptoms. Asked what chemicals in chocolate brought on the migraines, Glover said that they had not as yet been isolated. Yet, two of the strongest suspects are catechin, also present in red wine, and the obromine, a biochemical cousin to caffeine in coffee.” – James F. Scheer Health Freedom News
“In the spiritual tradition of India, it is said that if you could taste the soul, it would be sweet. Indeed, the human condition in some of its most precious moments is perceived as “sweet”: “the sweet life,” our “sweetheart,” “sweet dreams,” or “the sweet smell of success.” Sweetness is an experience, and food is just one doorway that leads us there.”
“The Sufis believe that every object and sensation on the physical plane has a corresponding mirror image on higher planes. In their view the sweetness of food (on the physical level) is reflected in the sweetness of love (emotional), which is reflected in the sweetness of divine ecstasy (spiritual). Even though the sweetness of a chocolate truffle differs radically from the sweetness shared between lovers, the metaphoric connections still exist.
In fact, scientists have recently discovered a chemical compound in chocolate—phenylethylamine—believed to mimic the physiological sensations of love. Even more fascinating, in the religious traditions of the Hindus, Taoists, and Tibetan Buddhists, mystics have referred to an ecstatic state where a sensation of indescribable sweetness spontaneously arises in the mouth.
Contemporary accounts of this phenomenon are widespread among meditators and practitioners of religious traditions of the East and the West. Furthermore, the Austrian philosopher-scientist Rudolf Steiner pointed out the role various foods have played in the evolution of consciousness in different historical epochs. Sugar is seen as a food that has had a powerful effect in helping to expand personality force, creativity, and self-consciousness. Even today historians are at a loss to understand why so many wars have been fought over sugar and different spices. I offer this reason: Sugar and spices were the drugs of earlier cultures. When these foods were first introduced, their effect was even more powerfully narcotic and mind expanding than they are today.
When we eat sweets, our desire is not just for food. Our longing is for the experience of sweetness, something we can taste on the tongue, in the heart, or in our most sacred thoughts. However, because it is more difficult to find a sweetheart or sweet Jesus, the mind often considers sweet foods an acceptable substitute. Food happens to be the most available form of the sweet experience. Can you see how we instinctively crave sweetness on several different levels? Do you understand why it is a perfectly natural biological phenomenon? Sugary food is one of the most popular forms of substitute love. Its effect is even more potent when combined with the love-inducing chemicals in chocolate. The downside of repeated substitution is the same for sugar as it is for drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes—dependency. We become mechanically bound to sugar because it fulfills an immediate need and exerts a powerful narcotic effect.
It is important to note that the need for the sweet experience is inborn; but as every nutritional scientist knows, there is no physiological requirement for refined sugar in the diet. Quite the contrary. Excess sugar in the diet promotes tooth decay and obesity and has been implicated in heart disease, diabetes, hypoglycemia, immune deficiency diseases, digestive disorders, and allergies. Perhaps the most fascinating and best kept medical secret about sugar is that excessive consumption causes calcium loss, which leads to a much publicized disease of our day—osteoporosis.” – Marc David Nourishing Wisdom
You can read more about chocolate in an interview Ann Marie Michaels of Cheeseslave conducts with Rami Nagel on the topic of tooth decay. She reports:
Anti-Nutrients in Chocolate, Coffee and Tea
I’ve always wondered why Sally Fallon Morell advises against chocolate. Rami told me that chocolate is very high in phytic acid. Chocolate is made from the cocoa bean — it’s a bean seed! (We call it a bean but it is a seed.) Raw chocolate is very high in oxalic acid and leaches calcium from the body.
Coffee, too, is a bean seed. It is also rich in oxalic acid, as is tea.
So I guess all these people eating raw cocoa nibs aren’t actually doing themselves any favors. And I guess those of us who have a sweet tooth (we know who we are) need to watch our chocolate consumption.
And for those of us who love our coffee and tea (again, we know who we are), have another reason to avoid it.
I’ve heard some proclaim, “give me chocolate or give me death” … Sally Fallon Morell recommends carob as an alternative. We recommend these brands of raw organic carob, available via our Amazon affiliation: Swanson Organic, Live Superfoods and One Lucky Duck.
Update December 18, 2011
I have since found this related article of interest written by Yolks, Kefir and Gristle: Chocolate. We’ve also had a robust discussion on this topic on Facebook.
We also recommend the following books on healing protocols: Cure Tooth Decay and Gut and Psychology Syndrome. You may buy these through our Amazon affiliation.
Photo Flickr/elpatojo, Licensed under Creative Commons
This post first appeared on Facebook.
35 Responses to Avoid Chocolate
It’s so bad, I’m eating chocolate right now. (Husband’s rolos) I have some dark chocolate in the mail right now, as well….. Go figure. At least I gave up my beloved coffee. I might have to give up chocolate for my New Years resolution. ;-) Yup, thats exactly what I’ll do. I do notice that I only crave chocolate on evenings when my husband works late…. now I know why!
Do New Year’s resolutions work for you?! I don’t know that I’ve ever been that successful keeping them!
I don’t like this article, but I do believe it. Do you think moderation is one way to handle this conflict? Or is it so bad as to be in a class with pasteurized milk, soy, and HFCS?
In response to this post http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=481902870171&set=a.165692065171
I received this response from Sally Fallon Morell:
“Please, please Sandrine, NO chocolate on WAPF materials. Thanks, Sally”
I responded: “Oh, really? Did you see the recipe? Raw, organic cocoa. Still, no?”
“Still no. Thanks! Sally”
what is the explanation for *NO*? No for raw, organic cocoa? Why? I don’t get any side effects, not even a hint on migraines, and I sleep well no matter how much of it I eat.
Hello! I’ve been off sweets for one and a half years now ever since I read “Sweet Poison” by David Gillespie. Admittedly, I do have sweets when I’m at a special occasion, but do I EVER pay the price the following day! I wholeheartedly support the elimination of sugar in the diet and the return to whole foods in cooking. I believe my food should have a short shelf life or it could only be plastic! I’m off to the markets to by seedlings now.
Sugar is what you need to avoid, not cocoa. You can make your own chocolate easily with coconut oil, cocoa and unsweetened shredded coconut or nuts.
i totally agree with this post
Give up chocolate? No. I’ll give up wheat, sugar, tea and TV. Not chocolate.
Maybe it’s like cilantro? Some people have the right taste receptors fro cilantro. Others don’t. To these folks, cilantro tastes like soap. Maybe some people find that carob actually tastes like chocolate, thus finding it an acceptable substitute? I’ve had carob. It does NOT taste like chocolate. More like the chocolate-flavored (supposedly) soy in most energy bars, which tastes like sawdust (ick!)
Not giving up chocolate any time soon–just sticking to the good stuff!
OH dear… another one bites the dust… first coffee, then tea , now chocolate…. why does all things that taste good have to be bad for us. It isnt’ fair !
I have always enjoyed chocolate but I’m the type of person that can eat one square of a chocolate bar and save the rest for my next craving. I have found a nice substitute though. I purchased a Raw foods cook book and it had a delicious “chocolate” cake recipe in it. It was made by putting walnuts and raisins in a food processor with a bit of lemon juice and some honey. It was delicious and definitely satisfied the chocolate sweet tooth in the family. I tried another recipe in a different raw foods book that included the carob powder and I found it very bitter. I added honey and thought it was yummy after that!
I would love you to post the recipes if you are willing?
[…] Despite recent health claims for dark chocolate, I’ve never believed it to be a health food. Because how can anything with caffeine in it be good for us? (Have you ever seen the pictures from the spider web study?) Caffeine is a drug, and it is not healthful. So-called “healthy” dark chocolate contains 26mg of caffeine per 1.45g serving. That’s about half the amount found in a cup of brewed tea, and about a quarter the amount found in brewed coffee. Caffeine is also addictive, which for me has proven to be quite problematic. Here is an article that talks about other problems with chocolate. […]
I gave up chocolate three weeks ago, and I’m convinced it’s one of the best things I’ve done for my health and well-being. It was having many negative effects on me. Just wrote a post about it, actually: http://nourishingmylife.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/i-gave-up-chocolate/
Thanks for sharing your post, Lisa! I only realized your comment was here now.
Yeah, I think late comments have a tendency to slip through the cracks.
We don’t use chocolate often in our home, but I have found that using a blend of 1:4 parts raw cacao and carob has helped to make it taste “chocolate” without so many of the stimulating side effects. We also notice a decrease in the negative effects when we are eating more gelatin & magnesium-rich foods. So when we do make chocolate (hot cocoa, pudding, frosting) I am careful to include plenty of gelatin as well as the carob.
I’m another one who isn’t drawn to chocolate! I was always a vanilla person growing up. Chocolate was ok once in awhile. But when I got into avoiding hydrogenated oils and soy on the WAPF diet I ended up not eating any chocolate for a year, not intentionally, but that’s what happened. I didn’t miss it; I ate carob desserts now and then. So when I did have some actual chocolate again, with good ingredients, I had an awful headache that lasted several hours! I’ve never had a problem with migraines or headaches. That was enough to convince me the caffeine in chocolate is worth avoiding. Now I stick to carob for occasional treats.
This is hard. I’m all about whole foods diet, have only organic decaf in the morning, no sodas, iced tea or sugary sweets. No chocolate???! I have a piece everyday. What about the claims that there were antioxidants??!
Sally Fallon Morell explains that there are antioxidants in many other foods that are more beneficial as a whole without the drawbacks of chocolate.
[…] was my attempt at a healthier version of “Thin Mints”. I (like you) am not a chocolate fan, but I know so many who are. I served these last night to company and they were a hit, satisfying […]
[…] colors, excess fructose and even chocolate. As some of you are aware, we recommend that one avoid chocolate. And one doesn’t even need to have an ice cream […]
I understand about raw cacao and phytates, but aren’t cocoa beans traditionally fermented? Wouldn’t that make them less harmful? I have been sensitive to the stimulants in chocolate myself -as with coffee, but as my health has improved I can tolerate chocolate better, in moderation, of course! This makes me wonder what to do with that bag of raw cacao powder I was just about to open…shucks.
From Sally Fallon Morell: “”The dietary don’ts are to be avoided if possible, especially by those with health issues. People who are very healthy and robust can have the don’ts occasionally. Chocolate contains addictive alkaloids. It raises dopamine, like a drug, and then gives you a let down. Also, because it is bitter, it needs to be highly sweetened. People are fooling themselves in thinking they can include chocolate in a healthy diet. Best, Sally”
[…] Chocolate […]
Sandrine!!! I need your help. My little one was introduced to hot carob for the cold winter and she only wants to drink one cup in the morning and one cup in the afternoon. the carob I used is organic roaste carob so no concern for the tannins. However how much is good to drink. I prepare one mug with 1,5 tsp of carob, I cook it in 2/3 of water and then I add almond milk or cow milk. Regards. Natura
[…] don’t recommend that grains be introduced that early, or sugar or chocolate … really at any age, so what is a parent to […]
[…] Avoid Chocolate […]
Interesting to see Sally Fallon’s comments. I know WAPF recommends avoiding chocolate, but there is more than one recipe using chocolate in her book ‘Eat Fat, Lose Fat’ that she wrote together with Mary Enig. Perhaps this was Mary’s influence as I know Mary consumed coffee as well, which Sally is clearly against.
Well first off, contrary to what seems to be a popular msiconception, you do not need to add sugar to chocolate. I eat chocolate with out suger, -no sugar substitute either. One of the best chocolate experiences I have ever had was in Rome, near tge Pantheon, an artisan chocolate boutique, made on the premises, chocolate bar with chillies. Divine, no sugar in sight. And a little stimuant every so often is nice. And if we are talking about ancinet nourishing traditions, it seems that the original Americans ate cocao, n’est pas?
The only negative effect I’ve had from chocolate is that it gave me tonsil stones—only Trader Joe’s chocolate, strangely, so maybe it wasn’t the chocolate per se. And I thought chocolate only had a tiny bit of caffeine? Doesn’t WAPF recommend kombucha? That has caffeine… Incidentally, I quit kombucha because of the high fluoride content of tea. It was giving me bad acne. I stopped two weeks ago and my skin is significantly better.
Chocolate does contain caffeine in varying amounts, however caffeine is not the only concern listed with chocolate. There may be another culprit lurking in chocolate similar to caffeine. New research points to theobromine, a compound that also comes from the cacao beans, which has similar physiological effects to caffeine but is actually more abundant in chocolate than caffeine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4335269/
Kombucha generally contains anywhere from 8mg to 14 mg per serving. By comparison, coffee has 100mg of caffeine per 8 ounces. Here is some information about fluoride in kombucha: https://nourishedkitchen.com/fluoride-in-kombucha/ and https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/fluoride-in-kombucha-should-you-be-concerned/
Years ago, HAAGEN DAAS, before I guess they sold out to someone else, made a CAROB ice cream, & then, it was with honey,(1970s) not just sugar. I loved it! I DO like CAROB, but why then do we hear so much about how good DARK CHOCOLATE is for your heart? And, I HAVE heard of the ‘magnesium deficiency’ thing as to why we may crave it at times….Truthfully? I like a dark chocolate fudge sauce, but with ‘candy’? I like milk chocolate. AND, if i’m craving it? i don’t eat just a little bite or 2..haha….i’ll eat it til i don’t want anymore……But, I guess I consider it just a type of taste i crave & it seems to perk me up a bit, whether it really does or not….I don’t want it all the time tho. I think I COULD go totally carob. I had a carob cake once that I really liked,too.
Check out the work of Sally K. Norton on oxalic acid in coffee. https://sallyknorton.com/ Her health depended on knowing which things contain it. And raw milk in tea protects from at least some if not all of the oxalic acid.