The truth about raw chocolate?

Posted: September 5, 2008 in society
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After promoting the making of raw chocolate in a recent post but also after having eaten in the meantime quite a few cacao beans (and not having felt good as a result), still being skeptical about the use of coconut fat in the chocolate making process and, in hindsight, a bit about the hype during that workshop, I was delighted reading my raw food and otherwise friend Helena’s post on bursting the chocolate bubble. I followed the link to Paul Nison’s articles, and what I read did not surprise me (except his description of the contaminants as a result of the cacao making process). 

Nison basically says that cacao is highly toxic and therefore bad for you health. As a raw foodist he makes the interesting observation that cooked cacao is much less detrimental than cocoa derived from roasted beans and that raw cacao is the worst of the lot. He claims he has seen lots of people whose health has been badly effected by cacao and he himself experienced negative side effects. His conclusion is that unless you take cacao for medicinal, sacred and entertainment use, don’t have it at all and certainly don’t see it as a health food! It’s a health hazard. Here’s is a list of points he made to support his view:

  • no animal in nature will eat cacao unless tricked into it with milk or sugar; if you can convince an animal to eat it, it then greatly shortens its life span if it doesn’t kill it immediately
  • native people who ate cacao only ate the fruit of the theobroma (which contains all the benefits and none of the detriments) and only used the cacao seed as an addition to their psychedelic brew ahyuwasca and as an emergency medicine; they did not eat it as a food nor as a food supplement
  • cacao is one of the most addictive substances known; it is super toxic to the liver, it acts as a stimulant and agitates the kidneys and adrenal glands; it can cause insomnia, nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night, shakes, and extreme energy shifts, especially when taken long term
  • cacao and chocolate are extremely clogging to our system due to the toxins carried in the oils in them; in additons the fat chains are highly complex (saturated) and require lots of energy to be broken down
  • more specifically: chocolate and cacao contain chemicals called methylxanthines which are detrimental to our health, causing for example a high level of liver and blood toxicity, espcecially as a result of long-term use
  • methylxanthines can be further classified as theobromine, caffeine, and theophylline; theobromine is known to cause a host of symptoms including abnormal glandular growth, nervousness, depression, anxiety, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, and itching; caffeine is highly suspected of being a carcinogen, and is directly linked to heart and circulatory problems, glandular difficulties, nervous disorders, osteoporosis, birth abnormalities, and so forth; theophylline causes stomach problems, nausea, vomiting, and nervous disorders
  • in some cases of long term use there are also pschycological effects that range from addictive tendencies, sexual dysfunction, violent outbursts, lack of reasoning, and decreased will; at mega doses of 40 plus beans it acts as a hallucinogen and can cause many effects attributed to LSD or hashish
  • chocolate and cacao also contain contaminants like animal feces and hair, insects, and moulds; the carcinogenic mould called aflatoxin has been found in large quantities on cacao beans; the American FDA acknowledges the presence of these contaminents and has set allowable limits for them
  • commercial chocolate and cocao also contain additives; the same might be said for raw cacao/chocolate that is not organic (I don’t have any specifics though right now)
Given that I actually felt sometimes quite uneasy and physically and intuitively not good about eating raw cacao beans (as promoted at the chocolate workshop), I personally am encouraged enough by Nison’s thoughts to at least ease off a bit when it comes to eating chocolate, especially raw one. I haven’t done any research on the topic and don’t claim Nison is right – but it does make sense to me. I invite you to come to your own conclusion 🙂 .
  1. Sildenafil says:

    Wow, that’s pretty interesting! I have been listening rumors saying that cacao is not healthy at all. I think there are a couple of lawsuits, as a matter of fact, against chocolate producers.

  2. luisa says:

    have you read what Roger Haeske says in relation to raw chocolate ? really interesting .

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