We clarify: the 8 biggest chocolate myths in a fact check

Wir klären auf: die 8 größten Schoko-Mythen im Faktencheck
Few sweets and foods are surrounded by as many myths as chocolate. While some attribute only positive things to the creamy temptation, others take a rather critical view of chocolate consumption from a health perspective. What's the truth behind the various chocolate myths? In this text we explain what the eight biggest chocolate myths are all about!

#1: The higher the cocoa content, the better the quality

A question that is often asked in our chocolate tastings is whether dark chocolate, i.e. chocolate with a high cocoa content , is of higher quality per se.
This is a misconception. One might think that the higher the cocoa content of the chocolate, the more of the good chocolate flavors end up in the chocolate. However, the most important point in the development of cocoa flavors is the processing of the cocoa beans. Manufacturers of high-quality chocolate, for example, process the whole bean, including the flavor-rich cocoa butter it contains. Whereas many industrial manufacturers extract the cocoa butter in the manufacturing process and sell it on to the cosmetics industry at high prices. Attempts are then often made to compensate for the fat component in such chocolates with cheap oils and fats. And that in turn has a negative effect on the quality of the chocolate.
The myth that the higher the cocoa content, the better the chocolate has been disproved.
Here you can find out what constitutes the cocoa content in chocolate .

#2: Dark chocolate is healthy

Dark chocolate is often touted as the healthy alternative to milk chocolate and other sweet snacks. But can we really say that dark chocolate is healthy?
The answer to that question is: It depends.
Basically, dark chocolate contains significantly less sugar than, for example, white chocolate or milk chocolate. And that sugar has a rather negative effect on health is certainly no secret. So the lower the sugar content and the higher the cocoa content, the healthier it is.
Because: Cocoa mass, in contrast to sugar , is considered very healthy. It contains fiber, antioxidants and even vitamin D. It is rich in magnesium, copper, iron and zinc. The theobromine and other neurotransmitters in chocolate also elevate mood. According to a study by the University of Michigan, the flavonoids contained in chocolate can also help fight cancer cells.
But, as we explained in the first section, all sorts of unhealthy things like cheap substitute fats can also end up in dark chocolate. Again, quality is key here. Therefore, be sure to check the ingredients on the chocolate packaging. If it's relatively short and only lists cocoa mass, butter and sugar, that's a good indication. If all sorts of other things like soy lecithin, flavorings and substitute fats have been added to the chocolate, probably not.
By the way, there are now also great 100% chocolates that do not contain any added sugar and thus provide you with the concentrated advantages of cocoa mass - without the disruptive factor of sugar!

Dark chocolate

#3: Chocolate gives you pimples

A chocolate myth that still persists is that chocolate gives you bad skin. But:
Again, the bad guy for skin health is certainly not the cocoa liquor with its health benefits, but all that other stuff that often finds its way into chocolate. Because the culprit for pimples is not the chocolate itself, but the added refined sugar, the fatty oils and, in case of doubt, the milk powder.
Blemishes are often the result of hormonal fluctuations. Because hormones are closely related to sugar levels, high sugar consumption, whether through chocolate or other sweets, can have a negative impact. The powdered milk and "bad" fats in industrial chocolate also drive up inflammation levels. Consuming milk chocolate, low-quality chocolate and chocolate with a high sugar content can therefore promote bad skin, just like other sweets.
So: If you want beautiful skin, nothing stands in the way of your chocolate enjoyment. Just make sure to buy high-quality chocolate with a rather high cocoa content and without any nonsensical additives. And, just like with all sweet treats, don't overdo it. :)

#4: Chocolate makes you fat and raises cholesterol

One of the most well-known chocolate myths is the claim that chocolate makes you fat and also increases cholesterol levels.
Let's first look at cholesterol levels: the fat content in chocolate consists mainly of stearic acid. Stearic acid is the main component of cocoa butter and is absolutely harmless to health. What's more, instead of having a negative effect on cholesterol levels, the unsaturated fatty acids in cocoa butter stabilize cholesterol levels. However, if cheap substitute fats are added to the chocolate, the calculation looks very different again. Here, too, it is important to pay attention to quality when buying chocolate.
And does chocolate consumption inevitably lead to obesity? The undisputed fact in this matter is that chocolate contains between 400 and 600 calories per 100 g, depending on the variety. Not just a little. But the same applies here: if you enjoy chocolate in moderation, you don’t have to worry about being overweight. Because obesity is often the result of a combination of poor nutrition, lack of exercise and genetic predisposition. In other words, a bit of chocolate certainly won't make you fat. :)
If you have a desire to lose a little weight in a healthy and balanced way, chocolate can even help. You can read how this works in this article .

#5 Chocolate is good for the heart

A popular attribute of chocolate is its positive impact on heart health.
In fact, according to an English study, chocolate lowers the risk of a heart attack. The polyphenols contained in cocoa are related to this. And here it is again the rather high-percentage chocolate, which contains a particularly large amount of it due to the high cocoa content.
Unfortunately, chocolate will probably not find its way onto recipe sheets as a heart attack remedy in the future. Unfortunately, the effect is far too small, and the negative properties of sugar and other ingredients in conventional chocolate described above cancel out the positive effect.

A red painted heart
Number 5 of the most famous chocolate myths can therefore not be confirmed.

#6 Chocolate makes bad teeth and causes cavities

This point can definitely be dealt with briefly. Because here, too, the ingredient sugar is the villain and not the chocolate itself. The caries bacteria in the mouth absorb sugar, or rather its carbohydrates, and convert it into acid, which attacks our tooth enamel.
But: As long as the oral bacteria are not constantly being fed, that is, if you are not constantly eating sugary things, the risk of caries is rather low. That means once again: only eat chocolate in moderation or if you want to be on the safe side, opt for chocolate with a low sugar content or completely without sugar.

Myth #7: Chocolate contains caffeine and keeps you awake

This fact is actually true. At least in part. Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulating alkaloid structurally related to caffeine that has a similar effect on wakefulness.
So depending on the type of chocolate, chocolate actually contains some type of caffeine. 100 g of dark chocolate - with a cocoa content of between 45 and 59% - contains around 43 mg of the substance. This corresponds to about 100 ml of filter coffee. And the higher the cocoa content, the higher the theobromine content.
So if you are very sensitive to stimulating substances such as caffeine or theine, you should perhaps be a little more careful with chocolate in the evening.

Chocolate Myth #8: Chocolate makes you happy

In our opinion, the most beautiful of all chocolate myths is that chocolate makes you happy. This thesis is vigorously defended by many chocolate lovers.

A person plays with balloons

And this beautiful fact can be confirmed at least in part. Once again, it's the dark chocolate that shines. Because it activates the release of various hormones such as dopamine and endorphins, which on the one hand inhibit stress hormones and on the other hand brighten the mood. The flavonoids contained in chocolate in particular have an impact on stress hormones, as a Swiss study has shown. You can read more about how chocolate can reduce stress levels in this article .
However, the quantities of substances contained in chocolate are not sufficient for a real “chocolate intoxication”. In order to feel a measurable effect, one would have to down many bars of chocolate, which in the end would probably end in nausea rather than bliss.
The feeling of happiness when eating chocolate is therefore more likely to be related to the enjoyment of the chocolate itself. Not bad either, right?
If you're looking for some fine chocolate to check out that last myth for yourself, feel free to drop by our shop . And for a feeling of happiness that is guaranteed every month, there is our chocolate subscription , which treats you to a surprise box full of fine, fair-trade chocolate every four weeks.

And chocolate myths aside, those who enjoy chocolate in moderation have nothing to fear. :)

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