3

votes

Interesting take on chocolate comparing it to other drug use

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 07, 2012 at 3:15 AM

http://www.holistichelp.net/blog/is-raw-cacao-really-healthy/

"This is why chocolate is so addictive. The presence of these chemicals actually indicate that raw cacao is an addictive, stimulant drug. Raw cacao over stimulates the reward pathway in the brain, just like hard drugs like cocaine and morphine. Over stimulation of neurotransmitters leads to depletion and depletion leads to addiction, as well as a variety of health issues like neurotransmitter imbalances, insomnia, depression, anxiety, obesity, hyperactivity, chronic pain, fatigue and nervousness. It stimulates feelings of euphoria which keep us coming back for more."

From my experience, things that you have to rationalize are good to justify the simple fact that you crave them are by that very nature unhealthy. Real, nourishing, healthy food without deranged effects on your systems are not addictive and you never have to rationalize why you deserve to eat them: they satisfy, while stimulants make you want more the more you eat.

What do you think?

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on October 15, 2012
at 01:12 PM

it helps with anxiety wile you have it your hand, and yes, consuming chocolate kept me awake at night

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on September 07, 2012
at 01:45 PM

Good post. Chocolate being addictive is overhyped IMO.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 07, 2012
at 01:08 PM

For the record it was a reference. My words were that it puts me in a viscous cycle and fatigues my nervous system, much like coffee or amphetamines do. Cocaine, no, not even close. I'm no Puritan. But I do want whats best for me and I like to challenge my wants.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 07, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Makes me anxious as hell. Wired. Stressed (but having a damn old good time in the process)

7953637a2b9df25a5473a4a086e730f0

(145)

on September 07, 2012
at 12:55 PM

You know what else helps with anxiety? Opiates and benzos

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 07, 2012
at 11:22 AM

I find both addictive, and both really stimulate creative thought, energy, and exuberance. Trouble is, they both over stimulate me and tire out my nervous system :/

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 07, 2012
at 10:32 AM

So make it with coconut concentrate/cream and sweeten with something like stevia.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 07, 2012
at 10:31 AM

I find that switching to a higher percentage of cocoa gets rid of the cravings - almost totally, so for me, it was the sugar (chocolate was the last source of sugar I had after going paleo.) I still have some chocolate, but it's far less than I did when I ate 85% or less.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 07, 2012
at 10:29 AM

Weird, but I find coffee a lot bigger of an addictive substance than chocolate. And sugar is even worse, which is why it was hard to get rid of - I was able to get rid of the last of the sugar addiction by switching to 85% cocoa chocolate, then 90%, then finally 100% baking chocolate, and I consume very little chocolate these days. I still do about 2-3 cups of coffee a day, and when I tried to switch to decaf for about a month, the mental effects were disastrous: was like sleeping through life.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 07, 2012
at 10:26 AM

[Home Simpson voice] "Mmmmmmmmm.... Theobromine... gaaaaaa...." :) (Hey, it beats donuts)

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 07, 2012
at 05:41 AM

Why cut back? Just never cut back.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 07, 2012
at 04:54 AM

Second that last part.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 07, 2012
at 04:53 AM

Personally, I just find the stimulation too much. All stimulants hit me hard that way; great mood, then way too jacked. My central nervous system gets really taxed. It's like speed. But of course the feeling of being exited and happy about the smallest nothing's is addictive, and it tastes GOOD!

E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on September 07, 2012
at 04:37 AM

Excellent point.

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on September 07, 2012
at 04:21 AM

Word. Gimme more.

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6 Answers

best answer

4
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 07, 2012
at 04:17 AM

Ive had some experience with high strength extracts of cacao, like cacao 50x. Ive also a fair bit of history in drugs and drug research. The combination of that and my anecdotal experience tells me the principle psychoactives in cacao are:

Theobromine, a caffiene like substance, with mood boosting properties Phenylanine, a dopamine and noradrenaline amino acid precursor

With perhaps minor contribution from OEA and LEA, the endocannabinoids found in trace levels in cacao.

The overall psychoactive effect, when experienced in a highly concentrated form is approximately one of strong stimulation, stronger than coffee or energy drinks and a quite noticable mood boosting.

While in traditional forms the effects may be too subtle for some to notice, its most definately psychoactive. Predominately a mood altering stimulant. Of course, when sugar is included, you also get the psychoactive effects of sugar, mild opiate and stimulant type effects.

The mayans from whom cacao comes, employed it with full knowledge of its effects. They and the aztecs were pretty darn fond of mild altering drugs.

It does seem like people get somewhat addicted to this plant. Probably not as much as sugar, but perhaps somewhere above the level of caffiene. We have very few mood boosting legal substances, sugar and chocolate are probably the most effective of the bunch, and when I used to eat alot of chocolate, I often did so in a way that was an attempt to mitagate bad mood.

All that said, its most likely alot better for your than alcohol, in moderation. Its also probably better than sugar, if you can get your cacao fix without much sucrose or fructose involved.

Your better off not relying on substances to alter your mood, but if you can limit the frequently co-consumed sugar, you could pick worse options.

Of course the marketeers would have us beleive, that a glass of red wine a day, and a few squares of chocolate is in fact 100% healthful. They are pretty good at selling lies!

That article is kinda hyperbolic, overstating alot. And they recommend carob as an alternative which is loaded with sugars, even in its unsweetened state. Once its sweetened to eat, its a sugar bomb. I am not sure if its fructose or glucose, but they are kidding themselves thinking that a big sugar load is in itself free of prominent psychoactive effects of its own. Those effects have been pretty established across a few studies, it effects the opiod and dopamine receptors:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17617461

Essentially they are swapping one "drug" for another.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 07, 2012
at 10:26 AM

[Home Simpson voice] "Mmmmmmmmm.... Theobromine... gaaaaaa...." :) (Hey, it beats donuts)

2
47edf681280750c3712a3a56f2eae33b

on September 07, 2012
at 04:12 AM

I don't understand why addictions have to be weighted so negatively. If it i is impeding your normal functioning and social life too much it may be a problem but humans are habitual beings. Obviously if you have a problem then you have 3 choices: Don't do it, do it, or be in denial about it. We all know how innocuous a Coke can be... and then today I saw a morbidly obese woman in a motorized wheel chair rolling down 5th street with a Big Gulp in her hand. Maybe she wasn't addicted to Coke, maybe she was addicted to the attention she gets from being unhealthy. What I'm trying to say is, yes, chocolate may be addictive, but you are the addict. What is it about the chocolate that fills that void in you. What is that void and where does it come from. It's not about the chocolate its about some experience or repressed experiences. Lets talk about that. Fuck chocolate. If the self medication is working keep on going for it.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 07, 2012
at 11:22 AM

I find both addictive, and both really stimulate creative thought, energy, and exuberance. Trouble is, they both over stimulate me and tire out my nervous system :/

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on September 07, 2012
at 01:45 PM

Good post. Chocolate being addictive is overhyped IMO.

E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on September 07, 2012
at 04:37 AM

Excellent point.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 07, 2012
at 04:53 AM

Personally, I just find the stimulation too much. All stimulants hit me hard that way; great mood, then way too jacked. My central nervous system gets really taxed. It's like speed. But of course the feeling of being exited and happy about the smallest nothing's is addictive, and it tastes GOOD!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 07, 2012
at 10:29 AM

Weird, but I find coffee a lot bigger of an addictive substance than chocolate. And sugar is even worse, which is why it was hard to get rid of - I was able to get rid of the last of the sugar addiction by switching to 85% cocoa chocolate, then 90%, then finally 100% baking chocolate, and I consume very little chocolate these days. I still do about 2-3 cups of coffee a day, and when I tried to switch to decaf for about a month, the mental effects were disastrous: was like sleeping through life.

1
7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on September 07, 2012
at 07:57 AM

This strikes me as unpleasantly puritanical. ZOMG DRUGS! Some chemicals are fun. I like them or at least I like their effects. Part of the point of being fairly healthy most of the time for me is being able to drink a lot, run around a lot, smoke the odd joint and generally have some hedonism in my life without serious consequences. Health is not a virtue in itself for me, it is an enabler for other activities that I get pleasure out of. To the extent that my measly habit of a small chunk of 70% cocoa every couple of days is harmful, the benefits outweigh the risks.

Having said that, note the rhetorical trickery here. Yes, chocolate does some of the same things biologically that morphine and cocaine do. That does not mean that chocolate presents the same challenges for healthy use that morphine and cocaine do. This is just bullshit to try and get you to place chocolate, surely one of the most benign mind-altering substances that could ever have that label, in the same class as the most serious ones. Choclate is not just like cocaine and morphine. It is a little bit similar in some respects that are interesting but irrelevant to any reasonable person.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 07, 2012
at 01:08 PM

For the record it was a reference. My words were that it puts me in a viscous cycle and fatigues my nervous system, much like coffee or amphetamines do. Cocaine, no, not even close. I'm no Puritan. But I do want whats best for me and I like to challenge my wants.

1
E95216c62a14d21c371fcbf2fed8469b

(1867)

on September 07, 2012
at 03:58 AM

I don't care. I love chocolate esp. when it's my moon time. I hate raw cacao though and think it's overrated. I'll eat all kinds of lovely gourmet chocolates when I go to Whole Foods Market. My grandmother makes cacao tea which is not paleo because of the condensed milk but AWESOME anyway, almost as awesome as bacon.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 07, 2012
at 10:32 AM

So make it with coconut concentrate/cream and sweeten with something like stevia.

0
C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 07, 2012
at 05:11 AM

From the OP:

"Over stimulation of neurotransmitters leads to depletion and depletion leads to addiction, as well as a variety of health issues like neurotransmitter imbalances, insomnia, depression, anxiety, obesity, hyperactivity, chronic pain, fatigue and nervousness."

Sounds like BS to me. There is plenty of studies which support the view that chocolate helps with anxiety.

7953637a2b9df25a5473a4a086e730f0

(145)

on September 07, 2012
at 12:55 PM

You know what else helps with anxiety? Opiates and benzos

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 07, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Makes me anxious as hell. Wired. Stressed (but having a damn old good time in the process)

2e1591c76896828077b930de5107f1af

on October 15, 2012
at 01:12 PM

it helps with anxiety wile you have it your hand, and yes, consuming chocolate kept me awake at night

0
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on September 07, 2012
at 03:53 AM

How do you cut back on on chocolate is the bigger issue. Over stimulation of dopamine is awful. Not sure why its pushed so much as an okay food. I love it too much personally.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on September 07, 2012
at 04:54 AM

Second that last part.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on September 07, 2012
at 10:31 AM

I find that switching to a higher percentage of cocoa gets rid of the cravings - almost totally, so for me, it was the sugar (chocolate was the last source of sugar I had after going paleo.) I still have some chocolate, but it's far less than I did when I ate 85% or less.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on September 07, 2012
at 05:41 AM

Why cut back? Just never cut back.

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