Christmas Season is the season of “Indulgence”. Food is abundant in this time of the year. And one of the top indulgence of people is Chocolates. So before we wallow in the fountain of chocolates, let’s check the myths and facts about chocolates.
MYTH: Chocolate causes cavities.
FACT: Not so. Normal consumption of milk chocolate, especially at meals, does not cause an increase in cavities. Research at the Forsyth Dental Center in Boston, Mass., has shown that chocolate has the ability to offset the acid-producing potential of the sugar it contains. Acid is believed to damage tooth enamel and cause decay.
MYTH: Chocolate causes acne.
FACT: No, it doesn’t – and it doesn’t aggravate acne either. Studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Naval Academy both showed that chocolate has no effect on acne.
MYTH: Chocolate milk is bad for children.
FACT: That’s False. It actually furnishes more zinc, potassium and iron than plain milk – and it’s no more likely to cause tooth decay than plain milk.
MYTH: Chocolate contains too much caffeine!
FACT: 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.
MYTH: Cocoa butter affects cholesterol levels.
FACT: A new study of 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. This finding, published in the journal Nutrition Research in March 1988 by David Kritchevsky, Ph.D., and co-workers at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, University of Pennsylvania, adds to scientific evidence gathered over the past 30 years that cocoa butter behaves differently from other fats containing relatively high proportions of saturated fatty acids. Kritchevsky’s findings begin to address the concern raised in a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine (May 12, 1988) that the beneficial effects of the high stearic acid content of cocoa butter may be offset by the presence of palmitic acid, a saturated fat.
MYTH: Chocolate is high in its fat content and can lead to weight gain.
FACT: Chocolate, in moderation, can be part of low-fat eating. An occasional chocolate treat can also help you stick to your healthy diet. Health professionals and nutritionists suggest that the calories from fat should account for no more than 30% of your daily caloric intake. A typical 1.5oz. milk chocolate bar contains 13 grams of fat; a dark chocolate bar contains 12 grams of fat. It is has a higher percentage of cocoa, which studies have shown is full of antioxidants.
MYTH: Chocolate is high in sodium.
FACT: According to the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, the maximum Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for sodium is 1,100 to 3,300mg daily. A 1.5oz milk chocolate bar contains 41mg, while the same size dark chocolate bar contains only 5mg.
On the other hand:
The health effects of chocolate refer to the possible beneficial or detrimental physiological effects of eating chocolate mainly for pleasure. For example, cocoa and dark chocolate may support cardiovascular health. Other effects under preliminary research include reduced risks of cancer,coughing and heart disease. One interpretation on the potential health effects of dietary chocolate is it may lower blood pressure, improve vascularfunction and energy metabolism, and reduce platelet aggregation and adhesion.
Unconstrained consumption of large quantities of any energy-rich food, such as chocolate, without a corresponding increase in activity, increases the risk of obesity. Raw chocolate is high in cocoa butter, a fat removed during chocolate refining, then added back in varying proportions during manufacturing. Manufacturers may add other fats, sugars, and powdered milk as well.
As for me: Food taken in moderation and in the right amount will give you the benefits it contain . Eating them excessively is always harmful to the human body. So if you want to take advantage and indulge in chocolate pleasure, make sure that you do it in moderation and choose the best kind like Dark Chocolates.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate?
Like I always say, before eating or using anything, check on it first! Look into the benefits that you can gain and the harm it can give. And it’s up to you to decide whether to dive in and enjoy life’s pleasure or steer away from it and forever wonder how good it is to take delight on life’s simple pleasures.