8 Myths And Facts About Dark Chocolate

Whether you prefer a gooey chocolate truffle or a mug of hot cocoa, dark chocolate is the number one indulgence for most of us. However, this indulgence comes at a price. After all, is not chocolate bad for us, full of caffeine and saturated fat? Not so – new research has shown that chocolate can be a part of a healthy diet after all. Here are some myths about this sweet treat, along with the chocolate facts to set the record straight.

Myth #1: Dark Chocolate Is High In Caffeine

While eating healthy chocolate may perk you up, it is actually not very high in caffeine. A 1.4-ounce chocolate bar or an 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk can contain 6 milligrams of caffeine, the same amount as a cup of decaffeinated coffee.

Myth #2: Dark Chocolate Is Loaded With Saturated Fat

Stearic acid, the main saturated fat found in milk chocolate, is unique. Research has shown that it does not raise cholesterol levels the same way that other types of saturated fats do. In fact, eating a 1.4-ouce chocolate bar instead of a carbohydrate-rich snack has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol levels.

Myth #3: Dark Chocolate Lacks Nutritional Value

Chocolate is a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. It also has polyphenols that have been associated with a decreased risk of coronary disease. An average chocolate bar has about the same amount of antioxidants as a 5-ounce glass of red wine.

Myth #5: Dark Chocolate Causes Cavities

Candy alone is not responsible for cavities. Cavities are formed when bacteria in the mouth metabolize sugars and starches from any type of food to produce acid. This acid then eats through the enamel of the tooth, causing a cavity.

Myth #6: Dark Chocolate Causes Headaches

While cited as a common cause of migraines, a study has shown no link between chocolate and headaches. Chronic headaches were once thought to be caused by amines of foods, but this study eliminated chocolate as a possible headache cause.

Myth #7: Dark Chocolate Causes Acne

Regardless of what your parents may still say, studies in the past years have eliminated chocolate as a cause of acne. In fact, many dermatologists doubt that diet plays any significant role in the development of acne. Acne is now believed to be caused by a combination of high bacterial levels and oil in the skin.

Myth #8: Dark Chocolate Causes Weight Gain

Any food can be part of a healthy diet if consumed in moderation. An average chocolate bar contains 220 calories, which is low enough to be a part of a weight control diet if other high-calorie foods are eliminated. Enjoying the occasional piece of chocolate may reduce the risk of severe bingeing.

The bad reputation of chocolate is slowly changing and research now shows that chocolate can be a part of an overall healthy lifestyle, when consumed in moderation. If you keep your portion sizes small and select dark chocolate whenever possible, the occasional treat can be a guilt-free part of your diet.

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