7 Myths About Chocolate : Busted!

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Chocolate. The name alone, brings such a delectable feeling with itself. Almost tingles my senses every time I say it or think of it. Let’s admit it. Chocolate is the greatest human discovery that the Earth has witnessed in the years of it’s existence. But sadly, there has been a lot of ambiguity regarding chocolate and it’s actual benefits. All the positives are completely overshadowed by a number of myths, which everybody conveniently agrees to.  A lot of people love munching on this sweet savory, but indulgence comes at price. Really? Well, I don’t think so! Here is something that’ll provide chocolate lovers a great deal of relief. Popular myths about chocolate, about to be busted. Thank me later. All Hail Chocoholics!

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Myth 1 : Chocolate makes you fat. 

Any food, when consumed in moderation, can become a part of a healthy just like the other components.  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. Overcoming that urge to have something sweet is pretty easy. Just pop a small amount of chocolate into your mouth and you’re done. That’ll also prevent unnecessary bingeing, which occurs when you’re denied or deprived of your favorite food or unfulfilled cravings.

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Myth 2 : Chocolate is responsible for tooth decay.

Chocolate has always been known to cause tooth decay because of it’s high sugar content. But like most of the myths that surround chocolate, this one’s untrue, too. Chocolate plays no part in the process of tooth decay.  In fact, cocoa naturally contains fluoride and cocoa butter forms a coating over the teeth that protects against bacteria. Milk or white chocolate are considered good for your teeth because of their high calcium content. Cavities are formed not just because of high sugar levels in the food you eat, but because of any bacteria formed in the mouth.

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Myth 3 : Chocolate causes acne.

No, it doesn’t. Neither does it aggravate acne. Studies conducted at top universities show, that eating chocolate has no links with provoking skin breakouts. Acne is now believed to be caused by a combination of high bacterial levels and oil on the skin and there’s no way chocolate is anywhere responsible for it. Even if your granny says so.  To ensure that your skin is healthy, it is important to drink plenty of water and ensure that you are eating a balanced diet. There is no evidence to suggest that good chocolate shouldn’t be part of a balanced diet.

Myth 4 : Tastes good, but it’s not health food.

In my defense, chocolate is considered a superfood by many health experts. Chocolate is a good source of magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.  It also contains polyphenols, which reduce the risk of coronary diseases. According to reliable data,  cocoa powder and dark chocolate actually contain more immune-boosting antioxidants than blueberries, cranberries, acai, and other superfruits. . An average chocolate bar contains about the same amount of antioxidants as a 5-ounce glass of red wine. So it might just be fair if the chocoholic in you wants to permanently switch from fruits or give up wine to relish chocolate with no qualms.

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Myth 5 : Chocolate is high in caffeine.

This might be the widely accepted myth about chocolate when it actually holds little truth. The amount of caffeine ingested when people eat chocolate in normal quantities is very small. One ounce of milk chocolate, for example, contains 6 mg. if caffeine, little more than the amount found in a cup of decaffeinated coffee. Moreover, there have been no reports in the scientific literature of any health problems among children or adults as a result of the caffeine consumed in chocolate. So, stop worrying about the caffeine content and binge on.

Myth 6 : Dark Chocolate is hands down, the best kind.

There are a lot of people like me, who are not fond of dark chocolate. Why? Because it is too bitter. Maybe. And it annoys me every time I hear people saying that dark chocolate is certainly the healthiest chocolate that exists, with little proof. Cacao content is a quantity measure, not quality. “Reading the ingredients label—making sure it does not contain anything but highly nutritious ingredients—is more important than percentages when it comes to determining the flavor and quality of a chocolate”, wrote a famous chocolatier. So healthier chocolates are the one that are minimally processed. Not those that are high in cocoa content. Not dark chocolate.

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Myth 7 :  Cocoa butter/ chocolate affects cholesterol levels negatively because it’s loaded with saturated fat.

A new study reveals that cocoa butter, the only fat in plain chocolate, indicates that cocoa butter does not raise levels of cholesterol in the blood, despite its total saturated fat content. Cocoa butter behaves differently from other fats containing relatively high proportions of saturated fatty acids. Stearic acid, the main saturated fat found in cocoa butter, is unique. Research has shown that it doesn’t raise cholesterol levels the same way that other types of saturated fats do.  In fact, eating a 1.4 ounce chocolate bar instead of a carbohydrate-rich snack has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

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