Chocolate just makes everything better. You can have it when you are sad, angry or even when you are happy. This amazing treat just has that power to feel right in every situation.
But as nutritionists and doctors have warned us, too much of a good thing can be bad. And chocolate is no exception. On the one hand, it contains cocoa, which has been proven to have health benefits. But on the other hand, it’s still a candy, and candies are never considered healthy food.
So what is the truth? There seems to be way too many myths about chocolate circulating around. So here are 8 chocolate myths that are way off to sooth your curious mind.
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Busting These 7 Chocolate Myths!
1. Chocolate gives me energy
Unless you have never been subjected to ads, you must have seen a number of commercials about how when you are hungry, or low in energy, you should eat a bar of chocolate. There is some truth to it, as chocolate contains small amounts of caffeine, which will provide you with a little kick in your system.
Actually, chocolate does contain caffeine, just that the amount is very small. A 1.4 ounce chocolate bar contains six milligrams of caffeine. That’s equivalent to the caffeine in a glass of chocolate milk or a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
So rather than relying on your chocolate fix, try snacking on healthier alternatives that are richer in fiber and contain less fat and sugar for more sustained energy release.
2. Chocolate is addictive
There is no evidence that chocolate can lead to any form of addiction. But since we associate chocolate as the comfort food for when we’re down, or reward when we achieve something, we ourselves make chocolate something we cannot quit.
This connection means we might feel that we ‘need’ it, which can make it hard to control how much we eat. Instead, try to obtain pleasurable feelings in other ways; walk in beautiful surroundings, call a friend or indulge in hobbies you love.
3. Hot chocolate doesn’t count
Cocoa powder doesn’t contain cocoa butter and other fats that you often see in a chocolate bar. So as a result, hot chocolate base is actually less in fats and is healthier for you.
However, hot chocolate combined with other ingredients, like sugar or cream, is a different story, as these ingredients are high in energy. As a matter of fact, your hot chocolate drink can contain as much energy (calories), fat and sugar as between one and two-and-a-half average chocolate bars.
So be mindful of what is in your full-fat milked, whipped cream topped hot cup of cocoa. But this does not mean you have to stray away from this delicious beverage. opting for a drink made with semi-skimmed, one per cent or skimmed milk and cocoa powder, with just a little sugar or sweetener instead of your chocolate bar can give you a 100kcal cut off. And it would be more nutritious as well.
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4. I can’t eat chocolate, I have diabetes
A diabetic eating chocolate may raise eyebrows amongst some people but within reason, chocolate needn’t be completely cut out of your diet. It’s a myth that you can’t eat chocolate if you have diabetes, just eat it in moderation, and try not to eat a lot in one go as it affects your blood sugar levels.
Also, ‘diabetic’ chocolate is not recommended by nutritionists. Diabetic chocolate is just as high in fat and calories as ordinary chocolate, it can still raise blood glucose levels and is often more expensive than regular chocolate. Instead, if you do decide to eat chocolate, stick to a small amount of it and try to have it at the end of your meal, so that your body absorbs it more slowly.
5. Chocolate is fattening and raises your bad cholesterol.
Dark chocolate also contains certain compounds, such as polyphenols and theobromine, that may lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body and increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Doctors often refer to LDL cholesterol as “bad cholesterol” and HDL cholesterol as “good cholesterol.”
The flavanols in dark chocolate can also reduce insulin resistance, which is another common risk factor for diseases like heart disease and diabetes
However, it’s important to note that chocolate also contains sugar, which can have the opposite effect.
6. Chocolate has no nutritional value
Chocolate is proven to be rich in magnesium, iron, zinc and copper in addition to the polyphenols mentioned above. Dark chocolate is considered to be a heart attack preventer, stress reliever, brain stimulator, and acts as an anticancer with the aid of compounds like flavanols.
A study revealed that eating chocolate two or more times per week lowered the risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries by 32%. Eating chocolate less frequently had no effect
7. Chocolate causes cavities
Dark chocolate is actually by far the better choice when it comes to keeping your teeth healthy and cavity free. There are some studies that even suggest that dark chocolate can be a cavity fighter.
Dark chocolate contains polyphenols. These chemicals can help fight the overgrowth of bacteria and other organisms in the mouth. They can neutralize organisms that cause bad breath and they can prevent some sugars form turning into acid, which can break down the enamel of your teeth and cause tooth decay and cavities.
It also contains flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to slow tooth decay.
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