Dark Chocolate Facts: Debunking 7 Popular Myths

Media headlines about dark chocolate mostly feel bittersweet. One week it is good for you and the next week, it is bad. If you believe the chocolate hype, you may worry it is causing you skin problems, making you fat or even messing up your sex life. But chocolate lovers may be surprised to learn that it is much healthier than other sweet treats. Here is a look at seven common dark chocolate myths and some healthy dark chocolate facts.

Dark Chocolate Facts

Dark chocolate myth #1: Dark chocolate makes your skin break out

While this urban legend has been passed on for generations, science has failed to connect chocolate consumption and acne. A review in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that diet plays no role in acne treatment. A more recent review of acne found no evidence suggesting restrictive diets reduce acne.

Dark chocolate myth #2: It tastes good, but it is not a health food

Chocolate is considered a super food by many health experts. Cocoa powder and dark chocolate contain dark chocolate antioxidants than blueberries, acai, cranberries and other super fruits. Research has also found that flavanol-rich chocolate and cocoa products may have a small but statistically significant effect in lowering blood pressure.

dark chocolate factsDark chocolate myth #3: Dark chocolate makes you fat

Chocolate consumption might pack on pounds with its extra fat, sugar and calories, a recent study found that consuming small amounts of chocolate on a regular basis kept people thin, regardless of total calories consumed per day or the number of participants exercised. Frequent chocolate consumption was associated with a lower BMI.

Dark chocolate myth #4: Dark chocolate is the best kind

Chocolate experts refer to chocolate brans as cacao and the powder made from them as cocoa. Look for a dark chocolate with a high content of cacao to reap the health benefits – at least 70%. But you may want to consider other aspects of your chocolate including whether it is organic or how it was processed.

Dark Chocolate Myth #5

You can use it to boost your energy

Most people are surprised to learn that milk chocolate has a pretty small amount of caffeine or just a little more than an 8-ounce cup of decaf coffee. Dark chocolate can have slightly more with about 25 to 40 milligrams per serving. Chocolate varieties contain theobromine, a close relative to caffeine but with less stimulating effects.

Dark chocolate myth #6: It is better than sex

Many chocolate dessert recipes tout the message ‘better than sex,’ but science has yet to prove them right. A study measured the brain activity in a small group of volunteers and found that when chocolate melted in their mouths it created a bigger boost of excitement than kissing. The effect of dark chocolate on the heart rate and mind were insignificant.

Dark chocolate myth #7: People who eat more chocolate have more cavities

Researchers found that chocolate helps protect against tooth decay and stop the spread of mouth bacteria. Fermentable carbohydrates cause cavities. While chocolate contains FCs, cocoa butter helps coat teeth, protecting them from developing cavities. The American Dental Association has no official stance on whether chocolate is a health friend or foe.

Dark Chocolate Benefits

If you want to experience the dark chocolate benefits, make sure that you consume the healthier kind and in a healthy amount. An ounce of high cacao contain dark chocolate consumed every day should be good enough.

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