Why your Love Affair with Chocolate is Really Something Else

Why your Love Affair with Chocolate is Really Something Else

Those of you who are from or have worked in the UK will be familiar with the tradition of bringing sweets and chocolates into the office after returning from trips overseas. London after all is the global hub for travel.

To my not-so-surprise, my recent contribution of some Lindt ‘premium’ chocolates from Geneva airport were demolished in the blink of an eye. I remember looking at the empty tray saying, “what happened there? That was quick!” There were a few potential suspects sitting around the ‘chocolate contribution’ desk, but I thought nothing of it… until later.

Sugar. If it’s not plastic the world is obsessed with, it’s definitely sugar. Diabetes, heart disease, even cancer are all implicated with a diet high in sugar. I even read recently that sugar is more addictive than heroin or cocaine! It was only my local cafe Beanys in the City last Monday morning, where I was sitting outside enjoying a coffee and I could literally smell the stuff, which got me thinking.

My dear friend from the blogosphere, CJ, emphatically describes her battle with sugar addiction and ‘LMP’ (‘lemon meringue pie’). I can only empathise. Temptation is everywhere as per my Monday morning coffee experience and, alas, we often succumb to the devil. Sugar fixates us, often in uncontrollable urges to eat as much of whatever sugar-coated or filled sweet there is available. Try taking on a bag of Haribos and I know who’ll come out the winner. I’m often left on a bit of a downer in the office, after consuming one too many gummy bears. Talk about a concentration killer.


You got me Gummy Bears….fair and square.

Let’s look at what’s going on here, especially when stress is involved. The brain starts craving ‘sweet’ (or salty) products as a result of certain hormones (“glucocorticoids”, or GCs for short) being secreted. The GC receptors are found in the taste-bud cells associated with sweet foods, thereby affecting the way we taste, and the types of foods we crave, when stressed.

The intake of sugar results in the production of insulin by the pancreas in order to absorb the sugar from the blood, which leads to the inevitable ‘sugar crash’ once the indulgence is over.

Such fixations and uncontrollable urges are often disguised as chocolate or other ‘fixes’. Not so when it comes to the “real deal”, it seems. Interestingly, when I presented a high quality ‘99%’ pure Panama chocolate bar from Vivani, the reaction was rather muted, even from the biggest ‘chocoholics’ in the team. Without that sweet smell of milk chocolate coated sugar, the ‘attraction’ wasn’t quite the same.


Which leads me to the next question: you say you love chocolate, but perhaps it’s really something else deep down you desire? Deceptively deceiving. “Of course not”, you say, “I love chocolate!” But then again, the ‘real thing’ doesn’t quite taste the same.

Case solved…you got me; it’s the sugar damn it – I’m hooked.



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  • Reblogged this on The Struggle to Get Here and commented:
    I don’t love my 100% cacao, but I can’t stand milk chocolate the way I used to crave it. It’s just sugar to me anymore. But give me a 70-80% cacao bar, no milk, and that is my perfect sweet spot!

    Sugar in my morning coffee though. That is my indulgence that I just haven’t been able to kick. I know it’s bad for me. I know it’s my own personal drug addiction, but nothing quite does it the same for me.

    Other than that, if I crave sweets, I go for 5 or 6 dates, or carob pods.

    February 5, 2018
    • I am with you on the 100% cacao and the milk choc… sugar in the coffee was was hard for me… every morning i stroked the sugar bowl lovingly but have refused to give in and slowly its getting easier! I just palate the stevia or other sweeteners…
      OOoh DATES! thanks for that… off to stock up on some!
      xxx CJ

      February 5, 2018
      • I was completely sugar free for 2 years. Then my husband came back from Korea, and with him all the junk foods. It’s crazy how the bite here and the taste there, that don’t even taste good at first, become cravings overnight.

        I am slowly getting back to a place of less and less sugar. I am almost there.

        Since discovering carob pods I don’t even go for cacao anymore.

        Next, to ditch… coffee. It’s always the last on my list because it’s the hardest for me. Usually I have to give up coffee altogether for a bit.

        February 5, 2018
      • I use other sweeteners in teas, but just can’t palate them in coffee, except coconut sugar, but I just didn’t feel it was a healthy enough alternative. Xylitol was alright too, but too expensive.

        February 5, 2018
      • I take coconut sugar with my protein powders to give them a sweet little taste ?

        February 5, 2018
    • @lillyRose sorry… i meant i CANNOT palate sweeteners! I went ‘cold turkey’
      Taking the sugar out my coffee def minimised my intake, i am down to one cup a day now and also, just take green or fruit teas now.
      I must look out for carob pods… I wonder if up here in Chesterfield we are privvy to that sort of luxury *lol*

      February 5, 2018
      • Since i moved south i havent been able to find the carrob bods. Only carrob chips. But I’m allergic to some of the ingredients in the chips. I may have to start ordering them online

        February 11, 2018
  • OMG! Amazing blog! yes… Its so real!
    I have 95% Lindt in my larder (85% too)… for those unstoppable ‘cravings’ and you are right… ONE cube of it and I am like URGH! Its not chocolate… and i love the way you describe it as chocolate coated sugar! GENIUS!
    Sugar addiction is a scary reality and giving it up and sticking with it has been so empowering. Hidden sugars are the worst culprits they are in EVERYTHING!
    Thanks for sharing xxx

    February 5, 2018
    • Thanks CJ! It’s definitely real and very addictive. Keep up the great work, you are very admirable and courageous!! Xo

      February 5, 2018
  • Reblogged this on CeeJayKayFit.

    February 5, 2018
  • Dates are definitely great for energy! I like prunes too. I think they are high in fructose.. but definitely better than added sugar. Good luck with your sugar journey! ??

    February 5, 2018
  • I am trying to control the chocolate and sugar intake.. man it not easy

    February 5, 2018
  • I really have to limit sugar as it plays havoc with my blood sugar. I try to have some protein with every meal so that I feel fuller. Old habits die hard though and it takes years to supplant them with new positive ones. Thanks for this thought provoking post. Anita

    February 6, 2018
    • Yes indeed, we all have our habits.. it seems that Chocolate/sugar is one of them! Protein is a great way of providing for a more complete meal. Thanks for the taking the me to read and provide feedback ? Scott

      February 6, 2018
  • So true!! I drastically cut down on sugar a couple of years ago though, and I actually crave raw dark chocolate now! It’s so interesting how your body adapts. Cacao is also very rich in magnesium – which a lot of people are deficient in these days – so the cravings could be due to multiple reasons!
    Recipe for my favourite decadent but healthy drink: a handful of almonds (soaked overnight) + two tablespoons raw cacao powder + 1/2 tablespoon maca powder + water + dash of coconut milk + cardamom and cinnamon.

    March 8, 2018
    • Ha, so there are exceptions then! I know that dark chocolate is very high in magnesium, its great for stress and relaxation. Thanks for the (decadent) healthy drink tip! Will check it out. I’m a big fan of Maca ?

      March 9, 2018
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    March 9, 2018