A Chocolate a Day Is Good for You,

July 01, 2016

A Chocolate a Day Keeps the Doctor Away, But the Sugar.... 

Reference: British Journal of Nutrition April 2016, Science Daily,   

We have heard about chocolate being good for you for years. The idea keeps popping up and catching our eye. Here is another. Again, it is a bit confounding because it's based on an open study asking people what they ate. The Luxembourg Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Study had 1,153 random adults aged 18-69 who were asked about chocolate. Those who reported eating 100 grams a day, each and every day, had better markers for cardiovascular disease, better markers of liver function and metabolic syndrome and better insulin control. The authors claimed that they controlled for tea and coffee consumption because both of those drinks are loaded with the same polyphenol nutrients types that are the putative beneficial compounds in chocolate. The authors did speculate that those who ate chocolate may have also been part of an overall lifestyle factors that correlate with good health, and that wasn't easily examined. The authors did raise concern that chocolate often comes along with a lot of sugar, and that's a problem. 

And in the last week a study was released about fructose and what it does for your brain. A team from UCLA examined the ability of rats to escape from a maze after being fed either plain water, water with fructose, or water with fructose and DHA (Fish oil). The rats with fructose took twice as long to escape from the maze, an ill effect erased when they also took fish oil. Then the team sequenced their brain genes and they found some 700 proteins that had been altered by the fructose drink. These genes were all part of the portfolio that manages insulin, diabetes, heart disease, and blood glucose. And the rats that got the pure fructose had much higher levels of insulin, triglycerides, glucose, and all the markers of metabolic distress. 

Fructose is bad for you. It alters your brain. What do we do with these two studies? Chocolate is good for you, perhaps. But it always comes with sugar, which is 50:50 fructose. Fructose is just awful for you. It will damage your brain, your metabolism, your insulin, your weight, your lipids. What's a person to do? 

www.What will work for me? I love chocolate. Dove Bars and me are pretty tight. I have learned how to levitate them out of the freezer when I'm watching TV without any evidence that I got out of the chair. Clearly my brain is being altered by an alien. That alien is likely fructose. In the form of sugar, it is too concentrated. When I eat fruit, most of that fructose gets metabolized by the biome in my colon, because the fiber in whole fruit pushes the fructose down to my colon. But pure sugar is just evil incarnate. When I go chocolate hunting today, I'll look for the 80% cocao stuff.  Do they make chocolate with fish oil?   

 Pop Quiz: ‪

1.  Eating 100 grams of chocolate a day leads to less heart disease. T or F                     Answer:  Whoa Nellie. This was an epidemiological study, but it is intriguing. It's a hint but this study isn't proof.

2.  Rats fed fructose, the equivalent of a liter of sugared soda a day (4 sodas), had trouble finding their way out of a maze. T or F                        Answer:  True

3.   Chocolate usually comes in the form of a bar with sugar. T or F                      Answer:     True. Solid or frozen ‪

4. Reducing fructose might be a strong strategy for your personal health. T or F                 Answer:  Probably one of your most important. ‪

5. And eating chocolate might transport you into an altered state. T or F                      Answer:  Well. Let's not go that far. But there are those who......,