Chocolate is good for us. How many times have we heard that, and hey! – here it is again. Chocolate reduces stroke risk for men, research claims (the Guardian, today). But if men, why not women? Or did the study target only men, for commercial reasons? Is this, in fact, research as advertising?
Which prompts another question – by whom was this research funded? Usually, when this sort of report comes out – and we’ve seen its like before, many times for many different products – it has the sticky fingerprints of the chocolate (or wine, or whatever), industry all over it.
And another. Apparently, “cocoa flavonoids” are what provide the benefits, so why not drink cocoa, thus avoiding the high levels of fats and sugars in manufactured chocolate? OK, not all the sugar – I like sweet cocoa.
Personally, I tend to ignore this type of stuff anyway, as there’ll be a contradictory report out pretty soon, I’m sure. I mean, look at eggs – consigned to the high-cholesterol wilderness for years, then reinstated when it was found that ingested cholesterol wasn’t the risk it had always been assumed (ingesting the precursors of cholesterol, like saturated and hydrogenated fats, was the problem). Now eggs are bad for us again, or so it’s claimed.
It’s garbage. Moderation in most things, including chocolate and eggs, is absolutely fine, if a tad dull. I have heard that moderation can be applied to beer too, but I’m pretty sure that’s just a legend . . .
And moderation brings us back to eggs, and much of the negative research stems from the US, where egg consumption is very much higher than pretty much anywhere else, due to their fondness for scrambled eggs.
I like eggs, maybe 2 or 3 a week, but more often than not, if I buy half a dozen, 2 or more will be uneaten (my mind seems perverse of the subject of eggs; if I have none, I want to eat them, once I have them, the urge passes). For me, 2 large eggs, fried, is a good portion; 1 would be insufficient, 3 too much. When it comes to scrambled eggs, though, 2 look positively parsimonious, even 3 give a pretty meagre portion. Omelettes are much the same, I’d never eat less than a 3-egg one (thick, fluffy, buttery, and gorgeously golden, oozing melted cheese).
Looking at the average American serving of scrambled egg (which might well have added cream, which I’d never do), I reckon you’re seeing 3 or 4 eggs, probably plus cream.
So, when someone declares “eggs are bad for you,” it pays to check out the source,** and if that source is the US then it’s very good odds that it applies to no-one else.
**In fact it always pays to check the source, and especially who funded it.