Like many people, you can’t resist the pleasure of biting into a chocolate bar?
Then you feel guilty, telling yourself that you shouldn’t have?
Lots of preconceived ideas about chocolate exist.
“If you eat too much chocolate, you’ll suffer a liver attack”.
“If you eat too much, you’ll get addicted to chocolate”.
“It is better to eat dark chocolate than milk or white chocolate.
Lies or truths? Let’s find out together!
1. Chocolate causes liver attacks.
False. If you eat too much chocolate, you may feel nauseous, have heaviness or even vomit, but the liver is not the cause. The famous “liver attack” is the result of a difficult digestion of fats. It does not involve the liver, but the gallbladder. The association between chocolate and “liver attack” is linked to the festive season. On these occasions, people eat a lot of rich meals and often feel bloated. Since more chocolate is also consumed during the festive season, the ailment has been wrongly attributed to chocolate, whereas it is the excess fat that actually causes the disorder. Since chocolate contains fat, it can contribute to the condition if abused, but it is not the main cause.
2. You can become addicted to chocolate.
False. Even if we sometimes find it difficult to resist a bar hidden in the cupboard, chocolate does not fall into the list of addictive products. Its absence does not cause physical or psychological withdrawal.
3. Chocolate helps to combat stress.
True and False. Cocoa is rich in nearly 500 molecules, including theobromine, a molecule similar to caffeine, which regulates moods. It is a kind of natural antidepressant. Chocolate also contains magnesium, which helps against tiredness and sleep disorders. One might therefore think that it is a good remedy for stress. However, these molecules are not present in sufficient quantities to have a real impact. Nevertheless, eating chocolate gives sensory pleasure and secretes dopamine, which has a de-stressing and even euphoric effect.
4. Chocolate is constipating.
False. It is a misconception, chocolate does not constipate. Depending on its cocoa content, its relatively high level of dietary fibre has a positive effect on gastrointestinal function. Cocoa also has a prebiotic effect on our digestive system. The polyphenols contained in dark chocolate in particular are said to promote good bacteria in the intestine.
Milk and white chocolate, as well as highly processed chocolates, are more of a problem for the gut because of their multiple ingredients and sugar content.
5. Chocolate is an aphrodisiac.
False. Dark chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a pleasure hormone, but in quantities too small to have an aphrodisiac effect and create a feeling of pleasure in love.
6. Chocolate is bad for the heart.
False. The high flavonoid content of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, gives it a protective role in the cardiovascular system. These molecules slow down the formation of fat and cholesterol deposits in the arteries and reduce the risk of cardiovascular accidents. They also have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as an antioxidant and immunostimulant action.
7. Dark chocolate has fewer calories than milk or white chocolate.
False. The three varieties of chocolate are roughly equivalent in terms of energy intake, ranging from 500 to 550 calories per 100 grams. It is the nature of these calories and the nutritional content that will make the difference.
– White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla and milk. Rich in fat and sugar, it is not really of any nutritional interest.
– Milk chocolate is made from cocoa paste, cocoa butter, sugar and milk. It contains low quality, saturated fats and often too much sugar.
– Dark chocolate is simply cocoa paste, cocoa butter and sugar. It is much richer in nutrients and nourishes the body.
To get the nutritional benefits of chocolate, choose chocolate with at least 70% cocoa.
One last piece of advice: don’t feel guilty about eating a piece of chocolate, but rather enjoy the moment of pleasure it brings, it’s good for your morale and for your body!