Myths vs Facts about Chocolate
Chocolate is a beloved treat enjoyed by people all over the world, but over the years, several myths and misconceptions about this delicious treat have surfaced. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the top ten chocolate myths and debunk them one by one.
- Myth: Chocolate is a high source of caffeine. Fact: While chocolate does contain caffeine, it's not as much as many people believe. A 1.5-ounce serving of milk chocolate contains about 6 milligrams of caffeine, while the same serving of dark chocolate contains about 20 milligrams. This is much less caffeine than a cup of coffee, which contains around 95 milligrams.
- Myth: White chocolate isn't really chocolate. Fact: While white chocolate doesn't contain cocoa solids like other types of chocolate, it does contain cocoa butter, which comes from the cocoa bean. According to the FDA, in order to be considered "white chocolate," the product must contain at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, 3.5% milk fat, and no more than 55% sugar or other sweeteners. With Easter around the corner, you might wonder why that Easter Bunny has ‘confectionary’ on it, it’s because this is a compound made with hydrogenated fats with no actual cocoa butter (or any part of the cocoa bean) in it.
- Myth: Chocolate causes acne. Fact: There is no scientific evidence that chocolate causes acne. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found no association between chocolate consumption and acne. Other factors, such as hormones and genetics, are more likely to be responsible for acne.
- Myth: Chocolate is an aphrodisiac. Fact: While chocolate has long been associated with love and romance, there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that it's an aphrodisiac. However, chocolate does contain chemicals that can stimulate the brain and make us feel good, which may contribute to its reputation as a romantic treat.
- Myth: Chocolate is addictive. Fact: While many people may feel like they're addicted to chocolate, there is no evidence that it's actually addictive. Chocolate contains small amounts of compounds that can affect the brain, such as caffeine and theobromine, but they are not addictive in the same way that drugs like cocaine or heroin are.
- Myth: Chocolate is fattening. Fact: Like any food, chocolate can contribute to weight gain if consumed in large quantities. However, the cocoa bean itself is not inherently fattening, it’s the sugar added to chocolate that is the culprit. In fact, dark chocolate can be a healthy part of a balanced diet, as it contains antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.
- Myth: All chocolate is the same. Fact: Not all chocolate is created equal. Although there are many different types of chocolate (milk, dark, white, blonde), factors such as the origin & variety of cocoa bean, the fermentation and the processing all play large roles in the quality of the final product.
- Myth: The percentage (%) often found on chocolate packaging is an indicator of quality. Fact: This is entirely false. The % shown on chocolate packaging is the amount of cocoa bean (includes cocoa butter and cocoa solids) that is included in the chocolate bar. The remaining percentage is sugar in dark chocolate, and milk ingredients and sugar in milk chocolate. For example, a 70% dark chocolate bar has 70% cocoa bean and 30% sugar. Note there are often other additives that will be included in the non-cocoa bean percentage including soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin, vanilla or other flavourings.
- Myth: Chocolate is a mood-booster. Fact: While chocolate can certainly make us feel good, there is no evidence that it has a significant impact on mood. Some studies have found that chocolate can improve mood in certain situations, but the effect is generally small and short-lived.
- Myth: Chocolate treats are good for dogs. Fact: Chocolate can be toxic to dogs, as it contains a compound called theobromine that dogs can't metabolize as efficiently as humans, and is especially bad for some breeds. The amount of theobromine in chocolate varies depending on the type of chocolate and the amount consumed but best to keep chocolate away from pups.
We hope we have cleared up some facts vs myths about chocolate for you.
-The JACEK team