Is Chocolate Really Bad For You?

by Sesy Widya Pakpahanbullet
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Reviewed by dr. Zamzam & Puspa W. Cahyono
Is Chocolate Really Bad For You?
Is Chocolate Really Bad For You?

Lots and lots of people love chocolate. However, there are numerous benefits and drawbacks to chocolate. Which one is correct?

Chocolate is a symbol of love. On Valentine's Day, we give chocolate to our loved ones. But why is chocolate so popular? Well, let's talk about it.

What exactly is chocolate?

Chocolate's popularity is not without reason. It tastes fantastic. It can boost our energy levels, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and do a variety of other things.

Now. Do you know anything about cocoa beans? Cocoa beans are used to make chocolate.

Cocoa has a unique shape. It embodies an egg. Sometimes it's reddish, or other times it's brown. Cocoa beans are processed into cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder, which are then consumed as food or beverages. That is the chocolate we’ve always known and referred to.

Surprisingly, the cocoa flavor is not as sweet as chocolate. How is that possible? Find the solution below!

Chocolate nutrition facts

1. Flavonoid

"Cocoa beans contain flavonoids," says Eric Ding of the Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Nutrition.

Flavonoids contain antioxidants, which protect cells in our bodies from free radicals. It also lowers the risk of heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes while increasing blood circulation.

Unfortunately, the flavonoid content of the chocolate we consume varies. Chocolate has been subjected to a process that reduces the quality of the flavonoids.

2. Sugar and fat

Cocoa beans contain no sugar or fat. Instead, chocolate flavors itself with sugar and fat. Because of this, chocolate is sweet while cocoa is not. Furthermore, each chocolate contains a different amount of sugar and fat. It is determined by the type and product.

Here is a comparison of the sugar and fat content in various types of chocolate, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

A recent study discovered that chocolate has no effect on weight gain. The study included 19 women. During the study, participants also ate a well-balanced diet. For example, they restrict their daily calorie intake.

In conclusion, the study's findings do not change the fact that chocolate is high in calories. Chocolate's sugar and fat content have the potential to make us gain weight.

3. Theobromine

Chocolate, like coffee or tea, contains caffeine, known as theobromine. It's worth noting that theobromine has anti-inflammatory properties.

According to some studies, it can inhibit tumor growth and treat respiratory diseases such as asthma and cough.

From the table we know that dark chocolate contains more caffeine than milk chocolate and white chocolate. It is because dark chocolate contains more cocoa beans than other types of chocolate.

If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may experience insomnia if you consume dark chocolate too close to bedtime.

Is chocolate truly unhealthy?

The answer is either "yes" or "no."

Dark chocolate, according to many sources, is healthy. Despite its high flavonoid content, JoAnn Manson, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology, does not recommend dark chocolate for a healthy diet. There hasn't been much research done on the health benefits of dark chocolate. It requires more research.

According to Consumer Reports, dark chocolate may contain cadmium and nickel. These metals are obtained from industrial and agricultural sources. It will cause health issues such as slowed brain development, lower IQ, and even cancer.

So, what is the conclusion? Consume dark chocolate as a snack or small indulgence. You can eat it occasionally or in small amounts.

So, are we allowed to eat chocolate?

Before purchasing, carefully read the ingredients. Sugar terms are hidden in their nutritional content. Sorbitol, concentrated fruit juice, glucitol, glucosamine, mannitol, sorbitol, or xylitol are a few examples.

If you have any symptoms after eating chocolate, see a doctor right away. You can also consult a doctor to determine your personal chocolate consumption limit.

ReferenceHarvard Health Publishing. Accessed in 2023. Chocolate: Pros and Cons of The Sweet Treat. Healthline. Accessed in 2023. Dark Chocolate Is Not a Healthy Food. Medical News Today. Accessed in 2023. Chocolate: Health Benefits, Facts, Research. WebMD. Accessed in 2023. Chocolate: Are There Health Benefits?