Chocolate is the one thing everyone loves, and some cannot even imagine their life without it. It comes in all shapes and forms and as of recently, chocolate is mixed with various other ingredients to produce interesting deserts and give it an edgy taste, as if the real dark chocolate is not edgy enough.
However, with the uprising trend of healthy lifestyle come numerous myths related to chocolate which, sadly, this delightful treat with numerous health benefits has turned into something to be avoided. Many studies suggest a different truth and for this reason, we’ve picked 8 myths about chocolate that we’ll try to debunk so we can finally say – chocolate rules!
Myth No. 1 – Chocolate makes you fat
If you don’t have weight problems, eat chocolate with a high content of cocoa and don’t worry you’ll gain a pound or two. However, if you have weight problems, first shed some pounds to normalize glucose levels in the blood and once you’ve achieved your ideal weight, treat yourself with a few pieces of dark chocolate a day without fearing of the yo-yo effect.
Myth No. 2 – Chocolate increases cholesterol levels
Au contraire, dark chocolate promotes the reduction of blood cholesterol levels, namely LDL (bad cholesterol).
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) eliminate artery walls from the bad cholesterol and transport it to the liver where these are being reprocessed, thereby improving metabolism. HDL cholesterol is also known as “the good cholesterol” because it removes all the bad stuff by traveling through the bloodstream (its molecules are big). Basically, this means a high concentration of HDL implies low LDL levels and that ensures significantly decreased risk for cardiovascular diseases.
Dark chocolate contains oleic acid which lowers total cholesterol levels, LDL including and raising the concentration of HDL cholesterol. Furthermore, oleic acid is responsible for the reduction of platelet aggregation associated with thrombosis. This means oleic acid is another substance in chocolate which prevents cardiovascular diseases.
Myth No. 3 – Chocolate causes cavity
No. Studies have shown that cocoa contains 3 different substances that prevent cavity: tannin prevents the development microbes, fluoride protects the enamel by making it more resistant to demineralization, phosphates help replace minerals (the process known as remineralization) thus preventing tooth decay.
Note that tooth decay, erosion, cavity, whichever term you prefer, is a result of acidic environment in the mouth coming from the bacteria which feed on sugars we take and excrete them as acids which in turn cause tooth decay, i. e. loss of minerals found in enamel and dentin (calcified tissues).
Myth No. 4 – Chocolate is difficult to digest
If we talk about high-quality chocolate, with a high content of cocoa, then this is not true. Also, it would be good to eat it after a meal. Avoid milk chocolates which contain lecithin and sorbitol as well as those with low content of cocoa. Milk interferes with polyphenols in chocolate which have beneficial effects on health. Dark chocolate implies at least 60% cocoa content, go for well-known producers and you won’t have any trouble digesting it, of course, provided that you don’t eat a whole bar.
Myth No. 5 – Chocolate causes acne
Definitely another “no”. The myth that chocolate causes acne is based on the fact that cocoa in chocolate has a high content of saturated fats. But, the truth is, most fats in cocoa are monosaturated and the rest is the stearic acid which, according to some studies, doesn’t elevate blood cholesterol levels, unlike other saturated fats.
Xanthine and sucrose in chocolate are to blame for raising blood glucose levels stimulating the production of enzyme lipoprotein lipase that forms triglycerides
Not one medical research has confirmed that eating chocolate aggravates acne.
Myth No. 6 – Chocolate shouldn’t be eaten by diabetics
Totally not true. They need to pay attention to the amount of carbs they take, chocolate including, so for them, in particular, is recommended to eat only dark chocolate with high cocoa content since these chocolate are usually less sweet (have less sugar) than milk chocolates. This way they will indulge craving they may have, but also do the best thing for their overall health.
Myth No. 7 – Chocolate causes allergies
This happens only in rare cases. Persons who are allergic to certain foods, i.e. substances need to make sure that a particular chocolate does not contain anything that may result in allergic reaction, the biggest allergenic foods comprising milk, eggs, nuts, wheat, fish, shellfish, and soybean. Around 15 % of people belong to this group.
Myth No. 8 – Chocolate causes constipation
Not true. Though tannin in chocolate can slow down the passage of feces through the colon, it nevertheless enhances digestibility, i.e., peristalsis. Radiologists studied changes in digestion tract which associated with chocolate and it turned out, to their surprise, that chocolate accelerates digestion.
Translation: G. Dujmović