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Preconceptions about Chocolate

Chocolate DECAYS your teeth.

Yes, but no more than bread or fizzy drinks. Chocolate contains carbohydrates, e.g. in the form of sugar, which are metabolized into acids which harm your teeth. These adhere to the surface of your teeth, as a film, and attack the enamel. The result: tooth decay. However, as well as sugar, chocolate also contains cocoa, which in turn contains tannins and oxalic acid. Scientific studies have revealed that tannins and oxalic acid are particularly effective at stopping the formation of acids which damage the teeth. 

Tooth decay is only encouraged if chocolate is eaten for long periods spread over the day. Regular tooth care removes the film on your teeth, in which case there's nothing to stop you having a piece of chocolate.

Chocolate causes migraines.

No, according to a recent study by the German Migraine and Headache Society (DMKG), there is no connection between chocolate consumption and migraines.

In fact, many patients crave something sweet in the phase leading up to a migraine attack, so it was incorrectly assumed that chocolate triggered migraines. Chocolate can only cause headaches in people who are histamine-intolerant.

Chocolate gives you spots.

No, according to a recent study by the German Migraine and Headache Society (DMKG), there is no connection between chocolate consumption and migraines.

In fact, many patients crave something sweet in the phase leading up to a migraine attack, so it was incorrectly assumed that chocolate triggered migraines. Chocolate can only cause headaches in people who are histamine-intolerant.

Chocolate makes you fat.

No. Chocolate alone does not make you fat. The reasons for healthy people gaining weight are generally an imbalanced diet which is too high in calories, and too little exercise.

Chocolate makes you happy.

Yes and no. It is hard to say whether or not chocolate makes you happy, but it is true that chocolate triggers some “mood-lightening” hormonal processes in our body. Whether or not these are enough in terms of quantity to actually make us feel happier is debatable.

Chocolate makes you addicted.

No, chocolate does not contain any addictive substances in sufficient quantity to scientifically justify this statement. It is true that chocolate contains andamide, and that this can cause similar “highs” to THC, the main constituent of the cannabis plant, but its concentration in chocolate is far too low.

Chocolate is an aphrodisiac.

No; this is also the stuff of legend. Though chocolate does naturally contain phenylethylamine, a hormone which makes us happy and is produced, among other things, when we fall in love, the quantity present in chocolate is far too small to have any actual, proven effects on our body. It seems to be more of a psychological effect: the special exotic, exclusive, costly image long given to chocolate seems to make it arouse feelings of passion.

 

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