Chocolate does not judge, Chocolate Understands

Make life funny they say. You know see the best in all situations. Don’t know why folks say they are waiting for 2020 to end, as if all problems this year come to a grinding halt on December 31st.

I say embrace the change. Its funny when you scan Facebook, and the proverbial best of intentions happy monkey jumps at you with lustful abandon wearing spandex and carrying a yoga mat.

With our waistlines pushing grocery carts down the happy lane of contentious sugary heaven, we have come to embrace that the sweet delights of distraction, give us solace in times of hardship. (COVID-19 anyone?)

What is it about chocolate that speaks to our own desires of wanting comfort, as she cradles our insecurities with thick strokes of delicious and devilish treats? Chocolate has been touted as a treatment for agitation, anaemia, angina and asthma. It has been said to awaken appetite and act as an aphrodisiac. You may have noticed we’re still on the letter A.

So, let’s get to the specifics and avoid adding to considerable existing confusion, it is the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree that have, over hundreds of years, been linked to cures and therapies for more than 100 diseases and conditions. Their status as a cure-all dates back over 2,000 years, having spread from the Olmecs, Maya and Aztecs, via the Spanish conquistadors, into Europe from the 16th century. What we have today is the product of clever marketing and scientific manipulation engineered by lobbyists.

Milk and white chocolate are loaded with sugar and fat that trigger a dopamine fix, the latter two really should just be called “highly-processed interpretations of chocolate,” because that’s basically what they are. It’s the processed sugars, salts and fats that make these varieties so tasty — which also makes them addictive.

New age living has told us that dark chocolate is better. But, before you dance the night away, note that they too are still high in fat, calories, caffeine and contains sugar. So, moderation would be key.

As we enter the new year with an unstable fabric of delusional resolutions, we must make small steps towards eliminating years of indulgent chocolate addiction. Those who dislike the bitter taste of dark chocolate can try these tricks to train our brain to appreciate it:-
1. Start with a low percentage cacao. Start low, go slow, and move up, overtime this will be the most practical approach.
2. Eat more fruit. Opting for fruit when you have a craving for something sugary is a move to train your taste buds over time to recognize natural sources of sweetness versus things chock full of added sugars.
3. Decrease intake of milk/white chocolate. If you eat milk/white chocolate and then have dark chocolate, the dark will probably taste awful. Consume more dark and it will naturally start to taste better.
4. Psychological – We tend to like unhealthy things because they overpower our neurochemical responses. Convince yourself of the benefits with healthier foods, over time they won’t be as aversive.
5. Get creative with pairings. Pair dark chocolate with something naturally sweet like blueberries or raspberries or another fruit.

Also try to walk 10,000 steps a day! Good Luck the struggle is real.


Dr. Sanjay Pooran
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