Chocolate health facts show old myths that chocolate causes a number of adverse health impacts have been disproved by modern research. The information below addresses several of the most common misconceptions about chocolate causing many health problems.
Over the past two decades, research has revealed that chocolate neither causes nor aggravates acne. Acne, a condition resulting from overactive oil glands in the skin, typically during puberty, is not primarily linked to diet.
In research conducted at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, a control group was given a bar with no chocolate which resembled a chocolate bar and had 28 percent vegetable fat to imitate the fat content of chocolate liquor and cocoa butter. A similar group was given real chocolate, but the test bars contained almost 10 times as much chocolate liquor as a normal 1.4 ounce chocolate bar. At the end of the test, the average acne condition of the persons in the group eating chocolate was essentially the same as those who had no chocolate.
In another study, a group of 80 midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, all of whom had acne conditions ranging from mild to moderate, were divided into two groups. Both experienced the same living, dining and physical activities. One group avoided all chocolate for four weeks; the other included a minimum of three bars in their daily diet. After four weeks, the groups exchanged eating patterns. Clinical observations, facial overlays and photographs showed no significant changes in the acne conditions in either group.
One natural treatment that has been used for ages is aromatherapy. I found a wealth of information about effective home remedies for glowing skin such as a mixture of honey and milk powder.
Some people think that they are allergic to chocolate, but a true chocolate or cocoa allergy is rare and difficult to prove. Chocolate is sometimes blamed for allergies caused by other ingredients added to chocolate during processing, including corn syrup, lecithin, gluten, and nuts. See a certified allergist if you suspect that you have a food allergy or sensitivity. Health facts show you will very likely find that you do not have to avoid chocolate.
There is a misconception that chocolate is high in caffeine. However, compared with the 75-175 milligrams of caffeine in a cup of coffee, a typical cup of hot chocolate has no more than 25 milligrams.
A typical 1.4-ounce chocolate bar or an 8-ounce glass of chocolate milk only contains about 6 milligrams of caffeine which is about equivalent of that found in a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
Chocolate does not need to be completely avoided by persons with diabetes. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate with relatively low levels of added sugar, can add flavor and enjoyment when used as an occasional treat as part of a well-balanced diet.
Some people complain of headaches and migraines after eating chocolate. These are not signs of true food allergy, but may be due to a food intolerance or sensitivity. Genetics, lifestyle, medications, and hormonal changes can make headaches and migraines more severe.
Studies conducted at the University of Pennsylvania tested 63 women who had chronic headaches and found chocolate was not a significant cause of migraines. The health facts show hormones appear to play a significant role.
There is a misconception that high-sugar foods, which some white chocolate and milk chocolate creations can be, cause hyperactivity. Research has proven for years that sugar does not cause uncontrolled behavior in children. Both the Food and Drug Administration and the 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Sugar and Health facts support these findings. Experts now believe that it is often the excitement surrounding a party or celebration that causes the exaggerated behavior rather than the foods that are consumed.
Fortunately research has shown that nearly everyone can enjoy chocolate without hurting their health.
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