I am addicted to sweets and that is something I have to say and confess :) Most especially to a good bar of chocolate. But many have claimed that it is a health risk and should be avoided. Fortunate for us scientists (i think most especially those addicted to them tasty treats) put these myths to the test and here are the things they found about chocolates.
Chocolate gives you pimples
Real chocolate contains anti-oxidants, which can actually help your skin look better. However the milk that is often mixed with chocolate can cause acne.
Chocolate causes cavities
Foods that contain fermentable carbohydrates (FCs) cause cavities. Although FCs are found in chocolate, the cocoa butter in chocolate coats the teeth, making it less likely to cause tooth decay. While chocolate may be high in sugar, it melts quickly in your mouth. This leaves little time for bacteria to attack your teeth and cause cavities. However, like all high sugar foods - moderation is certainly the key.
Chocolate is high in caffeine
The amount of caffeine in a piece of chocolate is a lot lower than a cup of coffee. A regular cup of coffee has 130-150 mg of caffeine, while an ounce of milk chocolate contains only 6 mg.
Chocolate may protect against heart disease
Real chocolate can help prevent heart problems because it's high in cocoa butter, which reduces cholesterol. Real chocolate also has vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium, which all help muscles, joints and nerves function normally.
Chocolate may protect against cancer
Dark chocolate is a great source of flavonoids, which contain antioxidants that protect you from toxins in the environment like cigarette smoke. Scientists have found that dark chocolate has four times the antioxidants of green tea. Approximately 100 ml of tea contains 13.9 mg of catechins (an antioxidant that fights cancer), whereas 100 g of chocolate has 53.5 mg.
Chocolate causes migraine headaches
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of chocolate's ability to induce headaches in 63 women with chronic headache was conducted in 1997 at the University of Pittsburgh Pain Evaluation and Treatment Institute.
The University of Pittsburgh study concluded that "contrary to the commonly held belief of patients and physicians, chocolate does not appear to play a significant role in triggering headaches in typical migraine, tension-type or combined headache sufferers."
However, while the science has been so far unable to prove the connection - many migraine sufferers are convinced of a connection.
Chocolate is addictive
Although many people experience cravings for chocolate, there is little evidence from existing studies that these are due to addiction.
Chocolate is an aphrodisiac?
Chocolate is the traditional gift of love, ranking right up there with roses as the most romantic gift one can give. But is it really an aphrodisiac? There is no definitive evidence to say yes. However, chocolate contains three substances, caffeine, theobromine and phenyethylamine that might be related to this myth.
Caffeine acts as a stimulant. Theobromine stimulates the heart muscle and the nervous system and phenyethylamine is reputed to be a mood elevator and an anti-depressant.
The combination of these three substances, giving you extra energy, making your heart beat faster, making you a bit jumpy and slightly giddy....well, you can see how chocolate could be linked to love. In fact, Montezuma used to drink a frothy chocolate beverage before going to visit one of his wives.Before you go out to buy several cases of chocolate to ply your lover with tonight, remember that these substances show up only in small quantities in chocolate
Here's a news video further debunking all the chocolate myths:
Plugged In: Myths & Facts About Chocolate - Click here for funny video clips
I do hope that this helps you justify your guilty pleasure - But do remember too much is always bad and that goes for everything ;)