It’s tempting to believe the hype about the supposed benefits of chocolate, but don’t believe everything you read. The facts dispel some common myths.
1. Chocolate is good for me
The main component of chocolate, cocoa beans, are naturally high in polyphenols. There is some evidence that polyphenols have antioxidant properties and help lower blood pressure.
According to a study that was conducted in Texas in July 2020 by the Baylor College of Medicine, chocolate may help maintain healthy blood vessels in the heart. However, the participants’ other dietary habits or potential risk factors for cardiovascular and circulatory diseases are not taken into account in this study. We could not recommend eating it for health reasons because the results of this and other studies were not sufficiently conclusive.
Chocolate also has a lot of sugar and saturated fat. It is a food with a lot of energy and calories, and eating too much of it can make you gain weight, which can increase your risk of heart disease. Beans, pulses, fruits, and vegetables are all better sources of polyphenols.
2. Chocolate gives me energy
Chocolate may contribute to the idea that it makes us feel energetic because it contains a small amount of caffeine. It is preferable to consume a snack that provides sustained energy release when you are hungry.
Eat a small sandwich, a piece of toast, an apple, or a bowl of unsweetened cereal to get your fiber and less fat and sugar.
3. Dark chocolate is better
Dark chocolate is considered better because it contains more cocoa solids and cocoa butter than milk chocolate. However, the amount of polyphenols in dark chocolate varies depending on how it is processed, so it is not always better.
Polyphenols can be almost entirely removed from dark chocolate by cleaning, fermentation, roasting temperature and time, “dutching,” or alkalizing, and the addition of additional cocoa ingredients like sugar or emulsifier.
4. Chocolate bars are the ideal size for a meal.
Eating too much energy will make you gain weight. 250 kcal are found in a typical chocolate bar. This is usually consumed in a few minutes and is the equivalent of 10% of a man’s and 12% of a woman’s recommended daily intake.
A 50-year-old needs to walk 45–55 minutes to burn off the energy from a chocolate bar.
5. Chocolate is addictive
There is no evidence that chocolate causes physical addiction. Instead, because we associate chocolate with celebration, comfort, and reward, our feelings about it tend to dictate our actions.
Because of this connection, we might think we “need” it, making it hard to control how much we eat. Instead, try to find other ways to get happy feelings;call a friend, take a scenic walk, or indulge in your favorite pastimes.
6. Hot chocolate does not count as calories
The cocoa powder that is used to make hot chocolate has less fat because it does not contain the cocoa butter and other fats that are found in chocolate bars.
Your hot chocolate drink, on the other hand, may contain as many calories (calories), fat, and sugar as one to two and a half average chocolate bars, depending on what you mix the cocoa powder with.
Hot chocolate that is made with full-fat milk and has high-energy toppings like whipped cream, marshmallows, and cocoa sprinkles should be avoided. However, substituting a drink made with semi-skimmed, 1% or skimmed milk, cocoa powder, and a small amount of sugar or sweetener for a chocolate bar could save you 100 kilocalories and be healthier.
7. I can’t eat chocolate because I have diabetes
Most people with diabetes can eat chocolate in moderation and as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Special diabetic chocolate products are unnecessary because they tend to be higher in energy and fat and still have the potential to raise blood glucose levels.
Instead, if you do decide to consume chocolate, limit yourself to a small amount and try to eat it at the end of your meal so that your body can better absorb it.
Learn about your diet and diabetes.
8. Chocolate with bubbles is “lighter”
It has the same amount of calories, fat, and sugar per 100 grams as other chocolates. Because added air makes it less dense than solid chocolate, eating bubbled chocolate can feel like eating a smaller bar. As a result, you get less fat, sugar, and saturated fat per serving. But always check the size of the portion.
There are some bubbly chocolates that are sold in bars that are larger than your typical solid chocolate bar, which means that they have no health benefits.