Chocoholic noun 1.a person who is excessively fond of chocolate. Origin of chocoholic choco(late) + -holic
Chocoholic A chocoholic is a person who craves or compulsively consumes chocolate. 'Chocoholism' is quite common. In studies of food cravings, chocolate and chocolate confectioneries almost always top the list of foods people say they crave. According to WebMD women are especially vulnerable to having this behavior.
An addiction so powerful it has earned its way into dictionary.com and wikipedia.org. Well played chocolate, well played…but what brings this rich chocolate delight to the top of everyones list of foods they crave? What’s in this little bean that has lead so many people, especially women, so vulnerable? It can’t be the taste, I mean raw cacao bean has got to be one of the most offensive things I have ever put in my mouth. Some might argue that when working with the right accomplices – sugar and milk – it’s taste quite divine, but so does everything else short of mud. When doing a comparison on just taste, I might even say I prefer vanilla, but I don’t ever crave a vanilla cake. In fact, according to my sources – dictionary.com and wikipedia.org – vanillaholic isn’t even a word. Not even a word, despite being the secret weapon in so many desserts. The chocolate puzzle must have another layer.
I will refer to that layer as Magnesium.
Magnesium is an essential mineral, meaning we need it to survive. We exhausted our body’s reserves more rapidly in times of stress, fatigue, physical exertion and of course – if you’re lucky enough to be a lady – when aunt flow comes to town. Hurray for being a lady…Not! Dietary sources of magnesium include spices, nuts, cereals, dark leafy green vegetables and cacao.
Well then, you could argue it must be healthy if chocolate is on that list. While the philosophy on cacao bean and nutrition wavers depending on the nutritionist, the kind of chocolate confectionary you crave when you are stressed is pretty unanimously agreed by all experts to be a nutritional villain.
The thought pattern that “I am craving it, so my body must need it” falls a little short here, as most people don’t crave many of those other foods on that list the way they do chocolate, yet some of them are even more abundant sources of magnesium. Ah, yet another layer to this addictive thriller.
This layer can also be known as Zinc.
Zinc is the most common of mineral deficiencies, and happens to be used up more rapidly in the body when we consume and metabolize sweet treats. Some of the first signs of a zinc deficiency include reduced sense of smell, loss of appetite, and taste changes. All of these factors make you less likely to reach for spinach when magnesium stores are low and more likely to reach for a more powerful sensation – like a hit of chocolate. The taste of nuts and cereals just don’t have quiet the same bite as that dark bean.
It’s a vicious little spiral; as each time we succumb to the compulsion to reach for our favourite chocolate dessert, we simultaneously create another deficiency that leads us to prefer to reach for that same chocolate dessert next time around and less likely to want anything to do with the much healthier options. What’s worse is, it is often those with powerful food cravings who are also the notorious perpetual dieters. Adding yet another portion to the recipe for your zinc deficiency disaster.
It’s those who restrict food intake that are most vulnerable to this compounding wreck. Restricting calories, skipping meals and cutting off certain food sources are among the main culprits to so many nutritional deficiencies in first world countries, zinc being right there at the top of mineral deficiency list. Although no less wicked than another other nutritional deficiency – as an absence in any essential nutrient will devastate the body.
Don’t play nutritional shaman of your own life if you don’t really know what the consequences are. Just because some fad diet where you only ate two days a week and starved yourself the other five days of the week worked for you a year ago, doesn’t mean it will continue to and the consequences to your body could be very difficult to undo.
There is no diet as impressive as the one that mother nature sets for us, no google search quiet as clever at constructing a meal plan as she is. If you don’t really know what you are doing, and you don’t really understand the power of eating the right foods – real food – then be open to learning from someone who does.
I hope you learned something from this post. I appreciate your feedback and looking forward to hearing from you in the discussions below.
P.S. Yes I know the fad diet is eat 5 days and starve yourself for 2 days, but really, does that make it any less absurd?
Sending love from Sydney