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Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here's how that happened.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/10/18/15995478/chocolate-health-benefits-heart-disease

vox.com

Dark chocolate is now a health food. Here's how that happened.
A year after James Cadbury, the 30-something great-great-great-grandson of the British chocolatier John Cadbury, launched his luxury cocoa startup in 2016, he introduced an avocado chocolate bar. Cadbury Jr.'s newest confection loaded just about every buzzy health trend into a fresh green-and-white package: vegan, ethically sourced, organic dark chocolate and creamy, superfood avocado.

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"Healthy: Dark Chocolate

Mars Inc. - the company that has brought us M&M's or Snickers - sponsored 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers starting from the 80s. Mars controlled the research agenda and only funded the posi...

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Not really good for your health

The biggest health claim is that cocoa lowers blood pressure, but no study has proven that it reduces the risk of heart disease or attacks. And considering the added sugars it probably does more ha...

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The Aztec cocoa

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Cocoa comes to Europe

  • In 1518, Hernan Cortes, a Spanish soldier and explorer reached the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan (in the territory that is now Mexico).
  • He and his men drank “chikolatl”, a bitter drink that contained roasted, crushed and then boiled (in water with spices and chilli) cocoa beans.
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Chocolate: the taste we know today

  • After they reached, Europe cocoa beans were crushed and mixed with honey and sugar, becoming a popular drink among the elites.
  • Joseph Fry and Sons made the first chocolate bar in the 19th century, creating what we know as chocolate today.

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Ultra-Processed Foods

Ultra-processed foods like white bread, cereal, chips, and wafers are remarkably common, convenient, affordable, extremely profitable for the makers, come in strong flavors and are aggressively ma...

Our Everyday Foods

We consume ultra-processed foods every day without even realizing it.

  • The morning cereal and flavored yogurt.
  • The savory snacks and sweet baked goods.
  • The vegan hotdog and the chicken nuggets available on the street.
  • The doughnut or the premium protein bar we buy as a snack.
  • The carton-packed almond milk put in our coffee or the diet coke we have.
Apart from obesity, ultra-processed foods are responsible for depression, asthma, heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and even cancer.

More Light On Ultra-Processed Foods

Most cooked foods can be termed as 'processed foods', but ultra-processed foods are in a different domain, with few people having the clarity to differentiate.

A cooked carrot is processed food, but a bag of industrially-produced, carrot-flavored veggie puffs are ultra-processed and are still aimed at toddlers as a portion of natural food. Other examples include frozen peas or pasteurized milk.

The origins of the breakfast myth

Much of the research suggesting that breakfast is essential for health is funded by cereal makers.

Companies like Kellogg, Quaker Oats and others whose businesses depend on p...

Breakfast and weight loss/gain

There’s no clear evidence that breakfast consumption promotes weight loss or that skipping breakfast leads to weight gain. 

It might actually be a bad strategy for weight loss because eating breakfasts means taking in a higher number of calories/day.

The health halo of breakfast

...is not backed up by research.

It is possible for breakfast to have health benefits, especially for some groups (growing children and athletes), but there’s not a lot of good evidence behind those benefits.