Chocolate is often seen as something bad for us, full of caffeine and saturated fat. But hey, not so fast—new research has shown that chocolate can be a part of a healthy diet after all.
Here are some common myths about this lovely treat, along with the facts to set the record straight.
Myth 1: Chocolate Is Loaded With Saturated Fat And Is Bad For Your Cholesterol Levels
The main saturated fat found in chocolate is stearic acid. Research has shown that having stearic acid in your diet can help to raise the level of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol (short for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) in your bloodstream. Increased levels of HDL can help to lower blood pressure and ease the strain on your heart.
Myth 2: Chocolate Causes Cavities
Some of the elements found inside chocolate—phosphate, calcium, and protein—can all contribute towards healthy tooth enamel. Moreover, chocolate leaves the mouth quicker as compared to other sweets, meaning its sugars are in contact with the teeth for a far shorter period. This means less chance of cavities.
Myth 3: Chocolate Causes Acne
Eating chocolate does not necessarily lead to acne or bad skin. In fact, the antioxidants found in dark chocolate can help to detoxify your system and improve your complexion.
Myth 4: Chocolate Has No Nutritional Value
In actual fact, chocolate (particularly darker versions) can be a great source of magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc. Additionally, chocolate also contains small amounts of phosphate, calcium, protein, and various phenolic compounds which can help to lower your insulin resistance. This can result in lower blood pressure and a healthier heart.
Myth 5: Chocolate Causes Headaches
Scientific research has found no link between the headaches and chocolate.
Myth 6: Chocolate Is High In Caffeine
The amount of caffeine found in the average bar is minimal .For example, a 40 gram piece of chocolate contains around 6mg of caffeine—about the same as a cup of decaf coffee. Comparing that to a regular cup of coffee which contain as much as 135mg of caffeine, the results shows that chocolate is unlikely to keep you up at night.
Myth 7: Chocolate Causes Weight Gain
Contrary to popular belief, eating chocolate does not necessary cause weight gain. When eaten in moderation, chocolate can contribute towards a healthy diet, especially when accompanied by regular exercise. The darker the chocolates the better!
Chef Jacques Poulain.