Chocolate and health: truth and false

Easter is coming soon! Like most religious rituals, those associated with Easter are no longer practiced in Quebec society. The big TV networks, French and English, remind us by their programming that this is a break that was once emphasized in a great way by Christianity. Charlton Heston’s movies invade the screen, Ben Hur and Moïse become the heroes again, for a long weekend.

But if there’s one tradition that never goes away, it’s eating chocolate during this spring weekend. No way we’re going to go without, oh no!

The history of chocolate begins about 4,000 years ago, in what is now Mexico. Recipes were refined until the Aztecs regularly consumed thick drinks made from cocoa beans. Christophe Columb was the first European to taste chocolate in 1512. But this slightly bitter drink became sweet and hardened bars to be eaten, thanks to the interest of Swiss companies and the kings of France.

Today, in bars, milk, white or dark, chocolate has never been so popular. But what is its real impact on the body?

Recently interviewed by a Radio-Canada team, here is what Canadian chocolate maker Frederic Desclos had to say about 3 myths surrounding chocolate.

First myth: chocolate is good for your health: “Yes, but be careful, chocolate must be made in a traditional way. Chocolate made by a craftsman is very good for your health because the cocoa butter and fat contained in chocolate is one of the only fats that is naturally evacuated. Therefore, the body does not fix it”.

Second myth: chocolate excites and gives energy: “Yes it’s true, it’s scientifically proven. Phenylethylamine, which secretes dopamine, is an hormone that is responsible for a feeling of increased pleasure and would also increase orgasm” …

Third myth: chocolate industry is not a fair trade: “This is true in many cases, but to be precise, not all cocoa suppliers operate like the big industry players. Some chocolate suppliers, such as mine, for example, work as much as possible with reasoned or even fair-trade crops. The suppliers buy directly from the farmer so that there are fewer middlemen.”

In conclusion the chocolate maker adds, eating chocolate is very good for your health. “It is good for the brain, there is magnesium. But above all, eating chocolate, simply for the taste and pleasure, is good for the morale… ”


By Roger Lemay