Who Hates Chocolate?

Who would've thought chocolate was so controversial?

Last month, we told you how to "
Protect Your Brain With This Feel-Good Food." People have eaten chocolate for centuries for its variety of health benefits. Chocolate improves memory, helps regulate blood pressure, prevents heart disease, improves mood, and even helps maintain weight.

But some subscribers didn't appreciate our advice to eat chocolate. (We'll take any reason to eat chocolate... especially if it improves our health!)

Last Tuesday, we revealed "The Killer Chemical Lurking in Your Soap." The killer chemical is triclosan. It's the chemical that makes personal care products – like hand soap – antibacterial. You can also find it in shampoo, toothpaste, shaving cream, and more.

Years of research shows that there's no benefit to using an antibacterial soap over plain soap. In fact, triclosan is dangerous. It reduces muscle strength, creates superbugs, and interferes with your hormones.

A few people accused us of fearmongering. But the compounding research on triclosan is clear and led us to only one recommendation: avoid it.

If you have something you'd like to ask me, e-mail us at [email protected] or send us a message on our
Facebook page.

Q: Your article on the "feel-good-food" doesn't take into account the following:

1. Consuming a large quantity of chocolate can be poisonous thanks to some ingredients that exist in cocoa.
2. Consuming chocolate with milk eliminates all stated health benefits.

You need to do more research on the topic. – W.C.

A: Come on! Are you kidding me? You're killing me...

The poisonous ingredient in chocolate is called theobromine. Theobromine is an alkaloid (nitrogen-containing compound found in nature). It's a stimulant similar to caffeine, which is where the theoretical risk comes from.

We love chocolate, but it would take more than most people could even eat to be poisonous. A 176-pound person would need to eat 80,000 mg of theobromine – nearly 12 pounds of cocoa – to hit deadly levels of theobromine. Remember, most chocolate isn't even 100% cocoa. And the smaller the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the more you'd need to consume.

For example, a standard Hershey bar contains 64 mg of theobromine. So it would take about 1,250 Hershey bars to actually kill you.

As for the milk in chocolate cancelling out the benefits, that's not exactly true. A meta-analysis published in June in the medical journal Heart found that 3.5 ounces of milk chocolate a day lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke. The real problem with milk chocolate is often the amount of sugar in the chocolate. But that doesn't mean there's no benefit in the milk chocolate.

We recommend people limit their intake of milk chocolate. (I've grown to dislike it because it's so sweet.) Chocolate with higher cocoa percentages has more antioxidants. But more antioxidants means a more bitter taste. If you can't stand the bitterness, you can still get a good dose of antioxidants in chocolate with less cocoa. Try staying between 50% and 60% cocoa solids for a balance between sweet and bitter.

Q: I like your articles but this is terrible, stop scaring people into thinking soap is bad for them. – B.X.

A: I'm glad you're enjoying Retirement Millionaire Daily, but I'm not sure you read our issue on the dangers of antibacterial soap all the way through.

We're not against soap. We're against the use of triclosan – a common ingredient in antibacterial products, like antibacterial hand soap. As we mentioned, triclosan is a chemical that alters hormones, increases your risk of heart failure, and creates superbugs.

If you use antibacterial products, you're taking on all that risk for no benefit... since antibacterial soap is no better than plain soap.

Q: Can you tell me if it's OK to forward Doc Eifrig's health tip e-mails to non-paying subscribers? – F.R.

A: Yes! Retirement Millionaire Daily is a free newsletter. So please feel free to pass the tips around. You can even direct them straight to our website: http://healthandwealthbulletin.com/ or help them sign up at http://healthandwealthbulletin.com/signup/.

We have three other newsletters that can't be shared:
Retirement Millionaire, Retirement Trader, and Income Intelligence. These are only available to paid-up subscribers. In Retirement Millionaire, I show readers how to generate safe income from investments, and provide health and savings tips you won't see here. In Retirement Trader, I use my options trading strategy to boost income while taking on less risk than conventional stock and options investors. In Income Intelligence, I show readers how to profit from every income sector on the market.

If you're interested in learning more (or want to give a great holiday gift), call our Member Services Department at 1-888-261-2693.

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the
Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
Baltimore, Maryland

November 19, 2015