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Myth to Fact — 10 minutes

Chocolate: Myths and facts

Eating chocolate protects against cardiovascular disease.

This is a fact.

The presence of flavanols in cocoa can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, current cocoa processing methods greatly reduce the concentration of these invaluable molecules.

In middle-aged men, chocolate consumption is associated with lower blood pressure.

This is a fact.

However, there’s a catch: This effect is only felt with very high doses of flavanols, corresponding to about 50 milk chocolate bars. Furthermore, eating that much chocolate also represents a significant amount of sugar and fat. Therefore, the overall impact on one’s health would be negative, despite the benefits provided by flavanols.

The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa it contains.

This is a myth.

Processing methods can give chocolate a very dark appearance, even though the concentration of flavanols is practically zero. The percentage of cocoa determines the concentration of flavanols. This information is found on the packaging.

The higher the percentage of cocoa, the greater the health-promoting properties.

This is a fact.

Chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa is beneficial to a person’s health. The benefit is even greater if it contains olive oil among its ingredients.

Chocolate causes constipation.

This is a myth.

Cocoa contains fibre, which stimulates intestinal transit. The higher the cocoa content in chocolate, the more fibre it contains and the more it helps avoid constipation. Therefore, if you suffer from constipation, it is not because of chocolate.

A person can become physically addicted to chocolate.

This is a myth.

Although cocoa is used by cigarette manufacturers, there are no studies that prove that the ingredients in chocolate can cause a physiological dependency or cravings. However, the pleasure derived from eating chocolate should not be discounted: The endorphins secreted when chocolate is consumed – the so-called pleasure hormones – make us want to eat more of it.

Keep in mind that the consumption of chocolate should be limited as part of a balanced diet due to its high energy value and high fat content.

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