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6 misconceptions about chocolate

The French consume more than six kilos of chocolate per year per person. It has many benefits but beware, not all chocolates are created equal, even dark chocolate, as one would tend to believe. Let's clear up the misconceptions about the food that makes us melt.

Produced from the cocoa bean, chocolate was considered the food of the gods among the Mayans and the Aztecs. The fermented bean, roasted and then ground, forms a paste from which the fat is extracted. The latter is referred to as "cocoa butter". To obtain chocolate, the cocoa mass and cocoa butter and sugar must be mixed. Appreciated by gourmets, chocolate contains many nutrients beneficial for health. However, several studies show that the consumption of certain chocolates is not recommended.

 6 misconceptions about chocolate

Misconception # 1: Chocolate is good for your health

True and false. The different types of chocolate are obtained by adding sugar, cocoa butter, milk, or even spices. Most of the benefits are found in the cocoa found in chocolate. It is therefore recommended by many health and wellness professionals to consume chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa with a low glycemic index. Compared to white or milk chocolate which contains a lot of sugars, fats, and aromas, dark chocolate does not cause significant peaks of insulin in the blood and therefore does not create feelings, tiredness, or sweet cravings.

Misconception # 2: Chocolate contains antioxidants

True. Chocolate with a high cocoa content contains vitamins B and E and flavonoids, antioxidant molecules that fight against free radicals responsible for cell aging. Also rich in minerals, it contains magnesium, potassium, and iron which help reduce fatigue and prevent cardiovascular disease.

Chocolate has notable effects on the brain. It contains tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes the synthesis of serotonin and melatonin, the sleep hormone. Low serotonin levels can lead to depression. Eating chocolate with a lot of cocoa, therefore, improves mood and acts as a natural anti-depressant.

Misconception # 3: Consume it every day

False. Chocolate, even dark, should be consumed in moderation because it nevertheless contains sugar. A 100g bar of dark chocolate contains around 600 calories, the equivalent of a Big Mac. It is therefore rather advisable to eat a maximum of 30g of dark chocolate per day or about two squares.

Misconception # 4: Organic chocolate is more healthy

False. Like all fruits, cocoa beans are treated with pesticides. Consuming organic chocolate, therefore, guarantees a product without chemical treatment but not always dietetic. Indeed, chocolate whether organic or not contains, depending on its composition, sugar, and butter. Consume with moderation. Sugar should be placed second or, ideally, third in the list of ingredients. Avoid the marketing pitfalls of "light" chocolates because fat is often replaced by even more sugar, even for dark chocolate. Prefer a bar of organic chocolate with at least 70% cocoa which contains no artificial flavors and no sugar added in excess.

Misconception # 5: Chocolate tends to be addictive

True. The product also contains anandamide, a molecule that binds to the same receptors as cannabis, for example. The effect of this action is to create a feeling of pleasure which can lead to a slight addiction. It is especially important when addiction is not controlled. Consume with moderation, therefore. In addition, chocolates containing a lot of sugar are more subject to the risk of addiction because of the spike in blood sugar that they cause.

Misconception # 6: White chocolate is rich in calcium

True. Regarding calcium intake, eating white chocolate would be like drinking a glass of milk. The problem is that this chocolate contains six times more sugar than this glass of milk. It represents an energy value of 551 calories. Due to its low cocoa content, it is the chocolate that contains the least antioxidants and vitamins.