Why chocolate tastes so good

Chocolate @ liudmilachernetska

In 2013, I switched to a plant-based diet and from my diet I removed meat, eggs, and dairy, but for some reason I just couldn’t get rid of chocolate. And as time passed by, kept going and going and going I started realizing that I am eating chocolate, not at all times, but mostly during times of stress.

Whether it’s during some project, whether it’s in a relationship, whether I am not happy with something, I realized that I have a tendency to consume chocolate or sweets at these times. And as time kept going by, I realized why. And to explain this to you I am going to use two scenarios: one scenario is with moths.

So, you see, moths are by nature designed to fly toward the star and moonlight. They use it as navigational objects. They just tend to fly towards it, but they were never supposed to get there. So they use it as navigational objects, navigate, navigate, navigate then they swoop down, drink their food, come back up, and continue navigating. But ever since we invented electricity and artificial lighting, we’ve manipulated their nature.

So what happens? When you wake up in the morning, you see dozens of them dead like kamikazes flying into the light and killing themselves. They were never supposed to get to the light, but we’ve manipulated their nature.

Moths © Crazzzymouse

Moths © Crazzzymouse

The other scenario is the scenario of black widow spider mating. You see, when black widow spiders mate, the male who is several times smaller than the female has to dance, has to do a courtship dance for 100 minutes on the web and sending vibrations with his legs. He is getting closer to her and telling her, “Hey, you know what? I am, uh, not your prey, I am your, I am your boyfriend, so when I get closer to you, don’t, don’t kill me.”

And what’s happening? He’s using one of the principle elements that all animals, including humans, are inborn with. Those elements are: seek pleasure, avoid pain, and conserve energy.

So as he is getting closer and closer, that element of seeking pleasure is kicking in.

But then sometimes the female adjusts her position And then that second element kicks in: avoiding pain. So he backs up, but eventually, the pleasure seeking element wins over.

And he gets there, they finish, and then the third element kicks in. Nature, like a computer software, no emotions, just objectivity, kicks in: conserve energy. And the female doesn’t kill him all the time. She thinks like a program. Do I have to eat soon? If I have to eat soon, why would I let this prey go and then waste my energy waiting for some other insect to catch on the spider web, having to waste energy to go over there and then inject poison into their nervous system and paralyze them, when I have the prey right here, I can consume energy. So if she has to eat soon, she takes him, kills him, and prepares him for food for later or now.

So those are the three elements, a visual explanation of those three elements. And what does all this have to do with chocolate? Ok, so, sense we function on these three principles we also, we have this system, a reward system that uses dopamine to reward us when we do behavior which is beneficial for us, when we behave in ways that are beneficial for us. So when we consume highly caloric foods, with easily meltable texture and so on.

Amount of calories per kilogram in water, fruits, and vegetables

Amount of calories per kilogram in water, fruits, and vegetables

So let’s begin. We have water – 0 calories per kilogram, then we’ve got green leafy vegetables – 200 calories per kilogram, then we’ve got other vegetables like onions and peppers – 400 calories per kilogram, fruits – 600 calories per kilogram, starchy vegetables like corn, boiled legumes, grains – 1000 calories per kilogram, and meat – 2500 calories per kilogram.

So this is all that the creator, God, Mother Earth has put on us, and this is what we have been able to— to consume for thousands and thousands of years. But then, we came up with new things like chips – 5000 calories per kilogram, chocolate – 6000 calories per kilogram, and vegetable oil – 9000 calories per kilogram, or 8000 calories per liter, the most caloric food on this planet Earth.

Amount of calories per kilogram in chips, chocolate, and vegetable oil

Amount of calories per kilogram in chips, chocolate, and vegetable oil

So why am I telling you this? How does this work? Ok, let’s say that I eat an apple right now and my system, my senses detect the caloric density, how easily meltable is it, digestible and all that, and they calculate and they say, “Hmm, this is good, it’s got a lot of carbohydrates, it tastes good, sugars and all that, I’m gonna give you some dopamine to make you feel even better for eating this. Repeat this behavior.”

So it tastes good. But then tomorrow I eat a piece of chocolate and when my system detects the caloric density, how easily meltable it is, what does it do? The system does this: “What is this?! Where did you get this?! I’m gonna give you, I’m gonna give you all the dopamine, dopamine in the world, all the dopamine in the world so that you feel like you are in heaven. In heaven! Just keep eating this, don’t eat any of that stuff that you’ve eaten before. This is fire! You have invented fire! Fireee!”

So what the body does is rewards you with dopamine, so it’s not the chocolate that tastes good. Yea, chocolate has the taste. It’s got oil, it’s got sugar, it’s easily meltable, it doesn’t have the fibers, it tastes good, but what really makes you think that it tastes good is how it manipulates your brain. It’s very caloric. You see, our nature was basically manipulated, like moths. We were never supposed to get to a point where we can consume such caloric foods, but all of a sudden, it’s there, and our body doesn’t know how to deal with it.

Manipulation © SergeyNivens

Manipulation © SergeyNivens

So how did I get off of that? What was the solution? I mean I still kept eating. I was like, “How am I gonna get off of this?” Well, I realized…what chocolate does is it promises me temporary happiness, temporary pleasure. And what else it does rising in me. It masks my intuition. It masks my inner guide from telling me to change something in my life.

So when something stressful is happening and when I realize it, what I started doing was I didn’t consume chocolate. I let the emotion come up, and I let it come up, and let it come up, It would tell me after 10 or 15 minutes, how would it feel? It felt like an airplane going through turbulence, shaking… And what comes after 10, 15 minutes, maybe half an hour, what happens? It tells me, “Hey, that job that you have or that project that you are doing or that task, or this thing that you are doing, spend less time on it, do something else.” or, “Hey, these 10 people that you are hanging out with, two out of those 10, reduce the time that you are spending them, just a little bit.”

And I was getting all the answers. So basically, when I stopped masking my emotions with temporary, artificial dopamine inducing substances, And this is what happened. Now I know you have a question. You say, “OK, well, you said, you said that the more calories there is, the more dopamine. So does vegetable oil then not taste better than chocolate?”

Well…there is a kick to it. You see, there is this thing called the bliss point—it’s a scientific term—and it’s a point beyond which any addition of calories, salt, sugar, fats, anything only creates a counter effect. So…if you go beyond this point, the food starts tasting too sweet, or too oily, or too salty, or things like that. And just remember, if you wanna do some more research on it, it’s called the bliss point.

So you can manipulate the dopamine system of your friends, family members, and colleagues by adding and combining sugar, salt, and vegetable oil into the meal. For example, if some meal takes you to the heavens for a second, it most likely contains a combination of added sugar, salt, or vegetable oil.

And one more thing. So I realized, basically, like moths, we are getting manipulated. So I realized, somebody forgot to update the software. So I came up with a plan. I decided, hey, what if we could update the software of moths? What if we could add one line of code that says: IF artificial light equals TRUE, THEN ignore.

And then for the human software, if we could add: IF added salt equals TRUE OR added sugar equals TRUE OR added oil equals TRUE THEN dopamine amount release equals ZERO. That would fix all the things.

Updated software for moths and humans

Updated software for moths and humans

So this is why chocolate tastes so good and this is how I was able to get off of it. I realized, I became conscious of this, I realized, I told myself, I love myself, I love my body, and I want that all the food that I consume and put inside my body loves me as well. Chocolate doesn’t do that. And it was easy.

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