Chocolate is undoubtedly one of the tastiest delights that we can enjoy. Chocolate comes in different shapes, sizes, tastes, varieties; we really can’t get enough and the options only keep increasing. We have light, dark, milk to start with, and then we have chocolate made with milk alternatives! There is really a chocolate out there for everyone that will be suitable, and surely tasty. The only issue we have with chocolate is that because of it’s taste and variety, it can be incredibly addictive. When eaten occasionally, or in tactically selected amounts it can actually have positive health effects. So the hypothesis we’re looking at here is, should you cut down on chocolate?
Chocolate (Cocoa) contains histamines
Did you know that chocolate, well specifically cocoa, contains histamines? Histamines are chemicals that naturally produce in the body and are absolutely fine at regular levels. They remove allergen triggers by use of sneezing, crying (tears) and itching. Unfortunately having too much of this chemical in your body can affect you negatively and actually cause increased reactions to allergens. So essentially, keeping your histamine-level low can alleviate many issues such as anxiety, increased heart rate and clammy hands or feet.
Sugar makes everything taste great, but we are already more than aware that too much sugar is definitely bad for you. The amount of sugar per bar will obviously vary, but even lower sugared bars will still contain a larger amount. It has been researched that on average chocolate has 51 grams of sugar per 100 grams. If you look at this in a way that is easier to visualize, this is about 12 teaspoons of sugar. Which now that you’re thinking about it, is certainly a lot. Even dark chocolate will have 24 grams of sugar per 100 grams. Ultimately since sugar is in most things that we eat, there is so much in chocolate that you really shouldn’t be eating it every day.
It is Bad For Your Skin
Our researchers have explored the link between chocolate consumption and acne. In certain people, they can often be linked. A particular study found that in acne-prone males, consumption of cocoa lead to high amounts of acne within 4-7 days of consumption. A second study discovered that chocolate consumption can cause acne over prolonged periods too. A study group ate 25 grams of chocolate a day and saw significant increase in acne over 4 weeks. Chocolate may relax us and satisfy our taste buds, but it doesn’t help your skin for sure.
Does Chocolate Really Have All Those Antioxidants?
Something thrown about often in defense of chocolate is that it has significant heart-boosting effects. The antioxidant where this is supposed to come from is called flavanol, and can also be seen in some of our other favorite foods and drinks, like tea, red wine and various fruits and veg. We looked into 12 regular brands and it showed that flavanols have actually been removed from the manufacturing process! This is because they were found to give chocolate a more bitter taste. It is true that it happens more in milk than dark chocolate, but even dark chocolate has been compromised! This all but ensures that your favorite chocolate has been stripped of it’s beneficial compounds.
Heavy Metals? The Non-Musical Kind…
Health watchdog group, As You Sow recently looked into 70 chocolate products. This included chocolate from well-known brans like Hershey’s, Mars, Cadbury and Whole Foods. It was during this report that they discovered that 45 of those 70 products contained lead and/or calcium in extreme limits. Limits that surpassed the safety levels set out in the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. Eating too much of this can actually lead to a buildup of harmful metals in your system. This can lead to many health problems.
So we can essentially see that chocolate poses little benefit to your health, but this isn’t to say we can’t eat it in correct amounts! Eaten in large doses, it can serve really negatively towards the body. It is a large contributor to obesity in the modern world. It has even been reported that one chocolate bar takes up 10% of a man’s recommended daily intake. Eating chocolate as a treat will actually be fine for your body, but you definitely should try to avoid eating it every day.