Most Easter eggs are junk food that will make you inflamed and cause you to gain fat. In fact, there’s not much ‘genuine chocolate’ in a supermarket-bought Easter egg. Generally, Easter eggs are made from highly refined sugar, cheap ultra-processed vegetable oils, milk powder, emulsifiers and other artificial additives. They are high in calories and harmful fats and provide no (or minimal) nutrition. Although one Easter egg won’t kill you, having one a day every day might.
Everyone knows that Easter eggs are full of refined sugar. How is that different to natural sugar? Isn’t all sugar the same? Yes and no. Sugar in nature comes together with fibre (for example, in whole fruits), which slows down sugar absorption, thus preventing huge blood glucose (and insulin) spikes. Because of the high fibre content, you are also not likely to over consume sugar from fruits. Refined sugar (high in fructose), on the other hand, is hard to overeat as it does not make you feel full. It even causes further sugar and salt cravings.
While we do need some sugar (carbohydrates) in our life, refined sugars are simply not good. They increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. They’re also linked to a higher likelihood of depression, dementia, liver disease, and certain types of cancer.
Besides being bad for your health and waistline, a diet high in refined sugar leads to premature skin ageing and other connective tissues. Refined sugar damages collagen fibres in the body and it also robs the body of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, an essential co-factor in collagen synthesis and it plays a significant role in the immune system function.
Ultra-processed vegetable oils
Most chocolate eggs contain ultra-processed vegetable oil for stabilisation, shelf life and consistency. Canola, corn, cottonseed, soy, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, rice bran, and palm oil are highly processed fats that destroy your health and metabolic fitness. They are extremely inflammatory and harmful to your gut, blood vessels and heart.
Besides, the combination of fat and sugar is the best recipe for fat gain, especially around your waist. While some chocolates don’t contain vegetable oils, the fillings inside the eggs are all laden with these inflammatory fats.
Most supermarket chocolates and Easter eggs contain emulsifiers to bind the ingredients, improve consistency and replace more expensive ingredients such as cocoa butter.
Soy lecithin (E322) is the most used emulsifier in chocolate. Although it’s made from soy and sounds healthy, it’s extracted with the use of harsh chemicals and considered artificial.
Emulsifiers used in the food industry disrupt the mucosal gut lining and gut microbial composition leading to inflammation, guy dysbiosis, increased gut lining permeability (leaky gut), metabolic syndrome and obesity. Furthermore, some emulsifiers also disrupt gene expression!
Emulsifiers can be listed by their name, such as ‘soy lecithin’, ‘sunflower lecithin’ or ‘guar gum’, making them sound healthy, and you won’t know they are emulsifiers. Or they are listed by a code starting with E and followed by a number (i.e. E322 for soy and sunflower lecithin).
For a complete list of common emulsifiers and the science behind their effect on your health, check this research article.
A better option?
Go for dark chocolate, ideally under 15g per 100g. Or, switch up for a Chief Collagen Bar!