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Chocolate Myths - Busted

guest post written by isabella lovett

Common Myths About Chocolate Busted

A cacao tree lives for around 250 years but only produces edible seeds for the first 25 years in general, which also means it’s technically a fruit, though some would argue it’s a vegetable. There are lots of fun facts about chocolate but there are also a lot of myths and misconceptions out there that can give it a bad reputation. Here are some common myths that have been busted to help you know what you’re really eating and let you get back to enjoying it.

Chocolate isn’t nutritious

Chocolate is often considered an unhealthy treat or snack and wouldn’t be part of a diet plan, but it does actually offer some good nutritional benefits. Chocolate is a good source of antioxidants, which are substances that combat free radicals and unstable molecules in the body causing harm to cells. Chocolate also contains zinc, magnesium, calcium, and some protein, which can help to reduce insulin resistance. Dark chocolate offers the most nutritional and health benefits and, when eaten in moderate amounts, can help to maintain a healthy blood pressure level and boost heart health 

Chocolate exacerbates autism symptoms

There’s a lot of research and different ideas surrounding diet and autism with some people claiming that ditching certain foods leads to less severe symptoms while others see no difference at all. One of these foods is chocolate, but there’s no solid research that has found a link to autism. Of course, some foods are linked to behavioral and social changes, particularly in children, and these are usually unhealthy foods, such as large amounts of snacks containing chocolate, artificial ingredients, and E numbers. This can make it easy to mistake chocolate for causing a behavioral problem that isn’t really there. Knowing the symptoms of autism and the side effects of too much chocolate can help to differentiate between the two. For example, autism is characterized by poor and delayed social skills and language difficulties, while additives in food can cause hyperactivity and attention problems. 

White chocolate is chocolate

Despite it’s deceiving name, white chocolate actually isn’t a type of chocolate. There are different types of chocolate, including dark, milk, unsweetened, Dutch, and cocoa and these all differ in cacao content and amounts of other ingredients they contain by law. Cacao is what is used to make chocolate and is the seed of a pod. White chocolate doesn’t contain cacao and is instead made from sugar, vanilla, cocoa butter, cream, and milk solids, meaning it isn’t technically chocolate.

Chocolate originally came from Switzerland

Another common myth is that chocolate is native to Switzerland, but the cacao tree was actually discovered in Meso-america around 2,000 years ago. Ancient Maya and Aztec cultures would make a bitter chocolate drink from the seeds by grounding them up into a paste, along with using the seeds in savory main dishes, as a form of money, and as part of some of their sacred ceremonies, showing the value they placed on them. Explorers then took the seeds to Spain and it gradually spread across Europe where people created new recipes that led to the sweet food that many people love today

Chocolate causes acne

Anyone experiencing acne can desperately search for what could be causing it and how they can get it under control. Unfortunately, chocolate often gets the blame for causing acne and many people attempt to ditch it in an effort to clear up their skin. Research suggests that chocolate doesn’t cause acne, but the dairy in chocolate products could be what’s mistaken for the link. Many chocolate products containdairy, which is linked to acne, but that doesn’t mean you have to ditch chocolate altogether as you can get dairy-free alternatives or enjoy dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and drinking chocolate instead. 

Finding out that your chocolate habit may be causing or linked to health problems can make you think twice about it, but, fortunately, these are often myths that can be ignored, leaving you to carry on enjoying your favorite treat.