Cocoa is actually an excellent anti-oxidant and mood-modifier, of particular interest to those who may histories of depression/PTSD or may be dealing with social isolation or marginalization, or in a negative or nonexistent domestic partnership. I consider it a medicine of great value due to its PEA , or phenethylamine - when taken in small amounts or with minimal sugar
This chemical occurs in chocolate in small quantities. TMI: it’s also produced organically and peak in the human body in altered natural peak states such as sensual experiences like certain kinds of natural childbirth - and orgasm - to varying degrees depending on extent of emotional connection/oxytocin. It stimulates the nervous system and triggers the release of pleasurable opium-like (or amphetamine-like, depending who you talk to) compounds known as endorphins.
Cocoa demonstrates significant benefits for the cardiovascular system, helping to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, reduce the risk of high blood pressure, and even reduce the risk of cancer. And, cocoa consumption is associated with reduced cognitive decline in old age - and this goes back to traditional cultures who drank it and continue to drink it, thick and UNSWEETENED!
For example, the Kuna Amerinds, an indigenous Indian tribe off the coast of Panama, have been drinking up to 40 cups of fresh cocoa per week and with incredible health benefits and elderly vitality. I don’t know about the rest of their diet - Cocoa has carbs, after all.
I indulge in small amounts (4g carbs-worth) of european bittersweet chocolate on a weekly basis, usually after an Italian or French dinner involving red wine. It is one of the things I count as a divine blessing in this short life - and my body recomposition indicates it’s working for me.
Phinney/Volek/Westman and the Drs. Eades - key researchers and scholars in the LCHF/keto world, allow for chocolate as long as it doesn’t trigger addiction cravings, and stays within the daily carb limits for whatever phase one is doing in a well-formulated dietary lifestyle.
The key seems to be steering clear from over-indulgence in sweetened chocolate.