Chocolate Chocolat World

Who doesn’t love chocolate?

What is the chocolate world all about?

In 2010, US annual retail sales of chocolate were $18 billion. According to the National Confectionary Association retail sales of chocolate have continued to increase 3 – 4% each year.

In 2011, each person in the US consumed 4.6 kg of chocolate. In the UK, in the same year, on average 11kg of chocolate was consumed per person.

During March, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) have a campaign called Dechox, challenging people to give up chocolate for March to raise money.

Team DECHOX loves chocolate and quote they “Love it. Yet we’re still willing to give it up in March for life saving heart research”.

The Dietician at BHF is saying about giving up chocolate – ‘if you normally grab a chocolate bar to help cope with a tough day, a possibility could be you end up not getting the good mood endorphins released by chocolate and therefore be more prone to stress. This could result in stress headaches.’

Just for clarity, the British Heart Foundation are asking you to give up eating chocolate for one month to raise money. They are not asking you to consider giving it up for health benefits and there is no mention that eating chocolate affects your heart.

Also we are in Lent season in the Christian calendar and there are many who give up chocolate for 40 days, by a way of fasting, cleansing and purifying their body for Holy Easter.

Why are we a nation addicted to chocolate?

Who says chocolate is healthy for you?
Who is funding the chocolate research that says it is good for you?

Why do we give our children chocolate as a treat or reward?
Why is there more and more ways to eat chocolate?

Why are chocolates placed at the checkout in supermarkets?
What are chocolate adverts really showing us?

Why do we associate chocolate with emotions like being happy or sad?

Why do we want more and more chocolate?

Where does our craving for chocolate come from?
Why do we have an insatiable appetite for chocolate?

Would we bother to eat chocolate if it was the real thing, in other words without the milk and sugar it comes with in the fancy shiny wrapping?

  • Do we know that chocolate is full of sugar and dairy?

100g of many well-known chocolate bars contain between 47 – 72g of sugar.

  • Do we know that actual chocolate is very bitter tasting?
  • Do we know our favourite chocolate has caffeine?
  • Do we know that caffeine is addictive?
  • Do we know that caffeine affects our central nervous system?
  • Do we know our central nervous system includes the brain?
  • Do we know that our mood is altered after eating chocolate?
  • Do we know that our blood sugar levels are affected after eating chocolate?
  • Do we know that eating chocolate puts our whole body into an un-natural state?
  • Do we know that the sugar in chocolate is deeply harmful to our teeth?\
  • Do we know that chocolate might have a reaction to our skin and cause spots?

Could it be possible that we actually need the sugar as we need the instant false energy boost that sugar gives us?

In 2012 just over 50% of chocolate eaters preferred to eat milk chocolate.

  • Could it be possible that we need the dairy for the comfort it brings to us in our mouth for the five seconds it takes to melt it?
  • Could it be possible that we eat chocolate to celebrate when things go well?
  • Could it be possible we eat chocolate to comfort ourselves after a bad day?
  • Could it be possible we eat chocolate to instantly numb how we are feeling?
  • Could it be possible that our body can produce the good mood endorphins that the BHF talk about, without eating chocolate?
  • Could it be possible that the caffeine in the chocolate gives us the false high to keep going when in truth we are actually exhausted?

Have we asked our body what it really feels like after eating chocolate?

I was a “chocoholic”. I would steal chocolate as a child from wherever it was hidden in the house. I could happily eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It would be true to say I was addicted to chocolate and life without chocolate, was not thinkable.

I am chocolate free for 8 years now and there is not a cell in my body that craves any chocolate because I have come to realise that it was needed because I was exhausted and not living an honest life. Once I dealt with my exhaustion and started to become really honest about how I was choosing to live my life, the craving for sweet stuff and caffeine was simply not there.

New lifestyle choices mean my body is not having to cope and deal with the copious amounts of sugar which is in our chocolate and the desire to eat it or want it has gone forever.

References

Bradford, C. (n.d). How Large is the Chocolate Industry? smallbusiness.chron.com. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/large-chocolate-industry-55639.html

Dental Helpline. (2015, August 28). How Much Sugar Is in Your Foods and Drinks? www.dentalhealth.org. Retrieved from https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/blogdetails/170

(2016). Total Consumption of Chocolate Worldwide from 1999 to 2020 (in Million Tons). www.statista.com Retrieved from http://www.statista.com/statistics/238849/global-chocolate-consumption/

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Comments 28

  1. I too was a chocoholic – I couldnt go a day without it and used it to give me enough energy to get through each day (usually a few bars of chocolate a day). As you say, I too took the time to understand why I was using chocolate, particularly because I started to feel the highs when I ate it and the lows after I had eaten it. I realised I ate it because I was so exhausted and I had never really looked at why I was so exhausted. Once I started to address that (that I was people pleasing, taking on too much work, constantly busy and spinning around and around in a whirr of action, and never listening to my body) and made small but incremental changes to the way I was living over a few years with everything from rest, sleep, diet, hydration, exercise, I started to notice a lot of changes to my health and wellbeing, and my vitality, and some years ago I stopped needing chocolate and haven’t eaten it for years and I feel so much better for it too.

    1. You make a great point here Jane about how you realised that you ate chocolate because you were ‘so exhausted’. What is really interesting is how you share about ‘pleasing people, taking on too much work, constantly busy and spinning around’. Most of us live like this and call it normal and is it any wonder that we have a global plague and it is called Exhaustion. Of course it is not officially called a ‘plague’ as that would scare us all and we don’t want that, so instead we have more high energy sugary drinks with caffeine and then as we know coffee sales are up and at no point do we ever address the Responsibility we have to look after our own health.
      Chocolate is serious business and sales are on the up and up. I am living proof that the need for chocolate is simply not there if we deal with our exhaustion and why we have it in the first place. Mine was consistent late nights, overworking and getting involved in other peoples stuff and a diet high in sugar.

  2. As a person who really struggled to stop sugar (which obviously was devastating my body and my mental health on a regular basis) the understanding Bina brings here is so important!

    I fought my sugar cravings for 25 years with no success until I got honest, with Bina’s support and dealt with WHY I needed sugar.
    Now it is no problem and this is no small thing!

    I want to highlight what Bina says here about once having dealt with the ’cause’ for the craving, the constant struggle to resist was gone as the need for it had been addressed. This is certainly how it went with me. Oh how much trouble I could have saved myself…

    1. This comment Jo confirms why it is important to not fight the cravings but go to the WHY.
      Asking the why questions and then responding with total honesty is going to nail it once and for all.
      I had a 75 year old woman addicted to chocolate who got to the why and then applied the practical ways I suggested, to support herself and bingo things changed. She no longer eats any chocolate, cakes or biscuits. This is not a miracle, this is normal common sense stuff that actually works. It took her about 6 weeks and its been a year now with no desire to go back to chocolate.

  3. Top blog Bina about what chocolate truly gives us. I used to be addicted to chocolate until it was presented to me by Serge Benhayon that, actually, I didnt truly like chocolate, it was the dairy and the sugar that I liked. With this information I was able to start to reduce my chocolate intake and eventually stop eating chocolate completely and, like you, for the last several years I have been chocolate free and have no craving whatsoever. And you are so right, eating chocolate when I was happy and wanted to celebrate or being sad and wanted the comfort or simply just wanting to check out.

    1. Your comment here confirms Tim that it is the comfort we seek from the dairy and sugar that is behind why we crave chocolate. The actual real thing is super bitter and doubt it would be a craving for most of us.
      What is interesting is what you say about how you stopped. It is clear that having an understanding presented by someone – in this case Serge Benhayon who does not have chocolate in his radar, inside his system so to speak gives it authority. By that I mean this man is clear of the emotions and everything else that is associated with chocolate. This holds a quality, a vibration that is clear and others feel it even if they are not consciously aware of it at the time.
      You and me are living proof why it worked and the real bonus is having no cravings years later. This needs to be studied as this speaks volumes.

  4. Brilliant blog, thank you. I too was a chocoholic from childhood, I used to save all my pocket money to buy the biggest bar I could. The comforting creamy feel in my mouth I just couldn’t get enough and I loved the taste which I now know was more about the sugar. If I felt sad , I ate it, if I was celebrating I ate it, if I wanted a treat I ate it, or if I wanted to escape what I was feeling. Even when I could no longer eat dairy I found a dairy free version that felt just as creamy in my mouth. I have been off this version completely now for 4 years and it doesn’t even come into my radar anymore, I am glad to say, as I really became aware of the full effects it was having on my body. By addressing why I wanted it in the first place meant I no longer needed it and my addiction stopped.

    1. Thank You Ruth and yes this is a ‘brilliant blog’.
      The bit that sticks out is when you say “I just couldn’t get enough”. Sugar seems to feed an emptiness inside us which is like a bottomless pit and you give it more and it wants more.
      Looking at the reasons why you ate it I am sure most of us could relate to.
      These alternatives like dairy free if we are to be totally honest are still giving us the same comfort factor until we make the conscious choice to ask WHY.
      Well done Ruth for addressing why you wanted chocolate in the first place and this stopped the addiction.

  5. What’s interesting to me here is the light this blog shines on the WHY of chocolate and particularly the bit about what’s going on behind the scenes in the chocolate industry. Not just the obviously manipulative ‘go on you deserve it’ style industry advertising, but the more subtle stuff. Like the health blogs on chocolate’s magnesium or potassium levels or some-such and the advice that’s it’s good to have a few squares of dark chocolate a day. It’s the same as the pseudo medical advice out there that a glass of red wine is good for you. We all know alcohol can never truly be good for us and we all know chocolate can never truly be good for us, yet these convenient claims make it easier for us to pull the wool over our own eyes so we can have our comforts. I remember once looking in the fridge for some chocolate and then my husband came over and we hugged and suddenly I didn’t want chocolate any more. For me that was a massive moment – to see that what I wanted was not the chocolate but the comfort. It’s not easy to look at what’s behind our choices but sometimes we get shown the mirror just at the right moment so the thing that needs to change become un-ignorable. A bit like reading this blog – once you’ve read it, it’s that much harder to go back … and of course also, therefore, that much easier to move forward.

    1. Thank You Jenifer and what you say here is super important about the manipulative way chocolate is advertised and yet we all deeply know it is not a healthy food even if we would like to think it is.
      You mention health blogs that spell out the benefits of chocolate – are the people writing it needing chocolate in some form?
      Are we the consumer finding and reading what suits us so we can continue in the same way and make no real changes?
      Do blogs like this annoy us or ruffle our feathers?

      Finally – a wise man once told me once you read something, you cannot un-read it.
      Once you feel something, you cannot un-feel it.

  6. Another great blog Simple Living Global – so many hidden addictions in many of the foods and drink we consume, this is no different to a drug addiction.

    I can relate to the chocolate as a reward or comfort, personally it was more of a reward, my thoughts were ‘I have worked hard so I deserve it’.

    I watched a family member give their 5 year old child chocolate from early in the morning because their (mother) is struggling to manage / care for this spritely child, sad when this habit began at a very young age and now is their norm. Another teenager in the same family confessed he couldn’t go without a large bar / box of chocolate a day. What is he struggling with – exhaustion? He has no financial worries, everything handed to him, yet it isn’t enough?

    What’s missing in our lives to fill this empty space with chocolate?

  7. I was sat in my car outside a supermarket yesterday, before school time, and noticed a gathering group of about 10 children as they came out the supermarket.
    Five of these children were eating chocolate bars they had just bought, one had bought a multipack.

    Why were these children eating chocolate before school?

    Why are our children craving this stimulant?

    What did they have for breakfast?… did they have breakfast?

    Did they sleep well?

    Are they exhausted and if so why?

    What is it about school that they need chocolate to start the day?

    How would this affect them for the rest of the day? their nervous systems, their brains, their behaviour, their sugar levels? their ability to learn?

    Are they feeling appreciated for who they are rather than what they do?

    Do we need to look at our responsibility in how we are living as a role model?

    Is it time for us to ask these questions… and more?

  8. If someone filmed me as a child there would be no doubt left that I would ever give up chocolate. Easter time for me was bigger, more chocolate, as those small bars didn’t cut it.

    Once I got older and I could pay and eat however much I wanted, things got from bad to worse. Not once would I even think that I was addicted to chocolate.

    Today chocolate is not on my radar at all. No advert, fancy wrapping or emotional message could make me want to touch that stuff. Those who know me thought at first it was my “new diet” and waited to see how long it would last.
    Well almost a decade later I am free of the NEED for chocolate.

    That’s what it was for me. I needed chocolate as it was a comfortable and a suitable way of avoiding my exhaustion and a way to not deal with all the issues I was happily burying.

  9. You speaking of Easter reminds me of the showcase of Easter eggs that I used to have as a child. I say showcase, as all the eggs that I was bought were placed in the glass fronted cabinet in my grandmother’s front room. Every time someone came to visit they would bring me an egg so there must have been at least 20 in there. It was a good excuse to eat chocolate for months!

    I knew there were times that I did not want to eat it, but kept going as it was a challenge just to see how much I could eat. I had to finish them all. Throwing any away was not an option.

    Today I no longer eat chocolate and recognise how harming it is. There is no nutritional value in it, it’s not a nurturing food product and so many people work in very poor conditions to produce this for us to eat.

    So why do we have it?

  10. I’ve noticed my youngest son is particularly drawn to sweet food, to the point of sneak-eating. We were having a big chat about it recently and he came out with something really interesting.

    He said ‘I like it, it makes me go faster’.

    For me that was huge. It shows how we know exactly what sweet food is doing to the body, even at 5 years old and that is why we eat it.

    As parents, we know this too. Where does that leave us if we reflect for a moment on the sweets/chocolate we give them?

  11. This is a powerful observation Ruth.

    As a parent, I really do get the challenge.

    Just yesterday we were in a cafe and there were loads of choclatey cakes and treats on display right at child height. They were even ‘heathy’ treats – gluten and dairy free and some without refined sugar.

    My kids just kept staring and asking and staring and asking.

    If giving your kids treats is the norm, then saying no stands out. It stands out with your kids, particularly where they see other kids having what they want. And it stands out with anyone watching, particularly other parents.

    Sometimes it’s not easy to say no. You want an easy life. You want the whining to stop. You want your kids to be happy. You don’t want people to stare or judge.

    But raising kids is a long game. Short term fixes don’t work. I know how my kids feel and behave when they’ve had chocolate/sugar and it puts you in a viscous cycle that’s hard to break.

    So I’m standing firm in the face of child temptation and certainly in the face of pester power.

    The knowing and the authority are mine and I’m not giving them away.

  12. I received an item in the post yesterday and inside was a voucher giving me big bucks off my first luxury box of chocolates. The big bucks in silver bolded caught my eye and I recall being a member of this chocolate club.

    The card was very inviting and the bit that struck me was how tempting it would be to just order, as the chocolates looked so real and most of us would want to eat them.

    Thank God I do not have any interest in chocolate whatsoever and it made me stop and appreciate how far I have come as I most certainly was known for being addicted to chocolate. No amount was ever enough.

    Once I started working on my exhaustion with the early sleep and a bedtime routine that supported me, things changed and the sweet cravings got less. ADD to that my understanding of what chocolate actually does and bingo things shifted fast.

    We cannot blame the chocolate industry for supplying us with more and more ways to eat chocolate. We are the ones demanding it and so it is really a case of supply and demand. Many people do not even join the dots to know that there is a strong correlation with obesity, diabetes, blood pressure and other health symptoms when we eat chocolate as it contains sugar.

    We all know sugar is a legal drug and it sure is killing us.

  13. The Office of National Statistics have released information on ‘shrinkflation.’

    ‘Shrinkflation’ is where manufacturers reduce the size of packaged goods whilst keeping the price the same. This is something I have been hearing about for some time.

    Chocolate has been noted as one area – with manufacturers saying that they have had to resize products due to rising raw materials.

    https://visual.ons.gov.uk/shrinkflation-and-the-changing-cost-of-chocolate/

    Various reasons have been given as to why prices have been rising.

    Mars told the Independent newspaper that ‘We have been absorbing rising raw material and operational costs for some time, but the growing pressures mean that we can’t keep things as they are.’

    So the real question is why is there so much pressure and demand for chocolate and it’s raw materials?

    We know that this is not a natural way of living and that chocolate is not a nutritious food substance – so what is really going on and why are we craving this substance so much?

    If we contemplated the questions in this blog by Simple Living Global, perhaps we would find the answers?

  14. Once when I was offered chocolate cake, I looked at it and didn’t want to have it because I knew it would make my tummy hurt.

    Only sometimes I eat chocolate cake, but it does make my tummy hurt.

  15. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/16/super-sized-chocolate-bars-driven-hospitals-tackle-obesity/
    The Telegraph – 16 October 2017

    Super-sized chocolate bars to be driven out of hospitals to tackle obesity says head of NHS England.

    This health chief bigwig is saying ‘we need to fight the ‘super-size’ snack culture as he sets out new rules for sweets and chocolate sold in hospital canteens, shops and vending machines.
    The plan is to give extra funding if hospitals limit most sweets and chocolate on sale to a maximum of 250 calories.

    Around 700,000 NHS employees out of 1.3 million are thought to be overweight or obese + two in three adults in the general public.
    Without being a maths expert, with simple common sense we can work out this is a huge problem.

    Reading this blog what is clear is that the sugar content in chocolate is a killer and it is well documented that sugar is like a drug and highly addictive.

    I have been visiting a crazy busy central London hospital every day for two weeks and the thing I noticed was staff with the sugary drinks and snacks full of sugar including chocolate to keep going. On the ground floor of this 12 floor huge building it’s like a frenzy of food, coffee and snack shops with long lines and so many people all day including midnight !

    My question is are we on the front foot with this obesity crisis?

    Is the hospital ban of super-size going to mean any real changes?

    Have we forgotten how creative we all become if we can’t have what we want?

    Do we realise that there is another way as it was said to me in hospital today – buy it and bring it in if we can’t get super-size?

    Do we as an Intelligent species on earth think for a minute that our health practitioners are going to give up the high sugar they need to keep going as they are so overworked?

    Are we ready to do real life studies on people like me who were addicted to chocolate for over 4 decades and no longer and it’s been 10 years with zero craving?

    Are we ready to get real that these restrictions do not lead to a healthier workforce, as we tend to find other ways to feed our ill habits until we get to the root cause?

    Are our governments going to keep looking for solutions or can we get them to really support our NHS staff with true care and support?

    Can we add caffeine fuelled drinks onto the list of sugary foods and then take a look at everything else on the menu with added sugar?

    We also need to take into consideration – those dishing out advice, those in authority laying out the rules and those who have the power to make changes – How are they living?

    No point someone who loves chocolate and coffee telling us to give it up or cut back if they are still doing it. Somehow it feels untrue and inauthentic as the person presenting is not living what they are asking others to do.

    1. I do agree with what you are saying here. Just last week a friend told me about her visit to a hospital and the observation that a nurse was drinking a well known fizzy drink and then threw the empty bottle on the floor when she was finished.

      Where are our medical role models and how can any of us support anyone to heal if we are living unhealthy lifestyles ourselves, not only by what we place into our bodies but also through the way that we treat our environment?

      It all counts.

  16. Why are most people addicted to chocolate?

    They are not addicted like “I need this every day … I need this every day … I need this every day … “.

    They just love it.

  17. I was in a cafe ordering a tea and I could see a jar of marshmallows behind the counter – presumably to put on top of hot chocolate.

    I like to take care of my body so marshmallows and hot chocolate are not my thing.

    Nonetheless, I was standing there waiting and the marshmallows were talking to me! My eyes kept being drawn to them and I was thinking what it would be like to taste them.

    Then my eyes landed on a display of cakes I hadn’t previously bothered looking at. An ‘ooh, what would they taste like’ thought popped in.

    If this happens to others too (which it must, otherwise shops wouldn’t display treats at the til), and we know the consumption of chocolate and sweets and the like is terrible for our collective health, then there’s an easy way to reduce it: put them out of sight.

    If people get the ‘I’d like chocolate’ thought, they can go and find/ask for it. But all the people not otherwise thinking about eating something sweet, wont have their thoughts ‘infected’.

    Supply and demand speaks, but as we’ve seen with cigarettes, there are ways to support us to think twice about our choices.

  18. At my school you are not allowed chocolate.

    But they give you choc-ices.

    This does not make sense.

    Choc-ices are a chocolate substance: they are giving you chocolate.

  19. I couldn’t walk pass a shop without buying a bar of chocolate. My daily fix I would call it. But looking back what really was my fix. I realise now that I was so exhausted I was using my sugar fix as a way of keeping myself going.

    No wonder I crashed and burned. It has taken me 7 years to build a foundation to support my body and this will always be ongoing. I still have a way to go but I know I am on the right track.

    Sugar is so poisonous and does not react well with our body. This blog is great it really sets the scene just how sugar is a no no and it just does not support our body!

  20. I was reading on line this week that a well known confectionary company has produced a 4.5kg bar of chocolate and supermarkets are selling this leading up to Christmas. The cost £50!

    This is shocking. Where is the Responsibility?
    With obesity and diabetes rapidly rising in the UK, how can we justify selling something that is detrimental to our health.

  21. Thank you for this brilliant blog.

    I loved chocolate all my life from childhood until I dropped dairy and gluten from my diet in my late thirties when my desire for chocolate fell away as I jettisoned dairy products.

    Reading the blog prompted me to ask myself, “why did I like chocolate so much?”

    As some others have mentioned above regarding their cowrie centre with chocolate, I too used the sugar in chocolate to keep going and I found comfort in chocolate’s dairy component.

    But I have realised that something else about chocolate had a hold on me. When we were young, junior school age, my mother would give my brothers and I chocolate every day. As a treat, a reward and a bar of chocolate would be there waiting for us when we arrived home from school. So, I have realised that chocolate was associated, for me, with my mother’s love.

    And, even in my thirties, at some level, that linking of maternal love and chocolate still existed for me and, in part, drove my chocolate cravings.

    So, I ask myself now, “can chocolate or any food give me love? ”

    No, of course no food can give me love.
    So where did that correlation between chocolate and love exist? Not in my body. That linking of chocolate and love was in my mind, a Pavlovian mental construct built over time through association and repetition. That’s crazy – chocolate can’t give me love, but for many, many years I thought it did.

  22. An article in ‘news.com.au’, 12th December 2017, talks about how a well-known pizza company launches first ever 1822 calorie dessert pizza.

    The pizza company officially launched its first ever dessert pizza this week with the chocolate dessert pizza.

    It comes with a chocolate base, chocolate drops, chocolate fudge brownies and marshmallows (what, no chocolate marshmallows??), and is smothered in more chocolate and icing sugar.

    The pizza has an enormous 1822 calories and the pizza company’s CEO Australia and New Zealand said the demand for dessert pizza was growing.

    It also follows the launch of the company’s other new product, which boasts 16” pizzas with three times the cheese of a regular pizza and eight long “foldable” slices.

    The amount of sugar in this dessert pizza must be staggering.

    Without even considering the health implications, especially if we have this new pizza with its triple cheese as the main course, will something like this actually be edible?

    The average calorie intake per day for men is 2500 calories and for women it is 2000 calories.

    This company’s new medium size pizza contains:

    1624 calories
    78g fat
    14g sugar

    With the chocolate dessert pizza coming in at 1822 calories, that makes for a whopping 3446 calories.

    The CEO of this company said that demand for dessert pizza was growing, but is this product really necessary?

    Is it possible that the creation of this product is totally irresponsible?

    With all things, we can easily blame the manufacturer for creating products that are not good for us but in all cases we are the ones that create the demand.

    Of course, the ultimate responsibility, as in everything we do, is down to ourselves.

    We are the ones that can make the difference between a product like this staying around or being consigned to the bin.

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