For years chocolate has been blamed for causing acne breakouts. It’s a myth that has been passed down through generations, and with Valentine’s Day approaching, there will be plenty of chocolate to go around!    DCSI is here to share some more information behind the myth before you go buying all the heart-shaped chocolate treats out there! While eating an excessive amount of fat and refined sugars isn’t good for the skin and could trigger an inflammatory response, like acne, chocolate with high cacao content may benefit the body. Cacao contains antioxidants and other beneficial minerals.   

Is Chocolate Unhealthy?

The myth of chocolate being bad for you and your skin is persistent since chocolate contains sugar, dairy, and fats. All three of which contribute to acne production:  
  • Sugar: Consuming large amounts of anything with added sweeteners like sugar will negatively affect your skin. Processed sugar has been linked back to causing premature aging, triggering inflammation and the production of sebum. It breaks down skin cells and works against the production of collagen and elastin. 
  • Dairy: Lactose is in dairy products like milk and is a form of sugar. On top of containing sugar, dairy also has proteins that promote inflammation in your body. When these proteins get released during digestion, they release hormones that confuse your endocrine system and could lead to breakouts. 
  • Fats: High saturated fats or trans are harmful to your health. They are responsible for increasing inflammation in the body which can lead to acne. Our South Florida Dermatology offices also want you to know that high consumption levels of milk chocolates, and other chocolates with lower levels of cacao content, can cause more negative effects to your body and skin. There are a few benefits to consuming dark chocolate in moderate amounts. 

Chocolate Benefits

Provides Antioxidant

Dark chocolate, which is high in cacao content, is full of antioxidants! Compounds like flavonols, polyphenols, and catechins function with more antioxidant activity than blueberries and acai.  

Full Of Vitamins, Minerals, and Fiber

A bar of dark chocolate with a cacao content of 70% to 85% contains compounds like fiber, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and selenium in significant amounts. Meaning, that in moderate amounts, dark chocolate can supply our body with these nutrients. 

Lowers Bad Cholesterol Levels

It has been found that, along with a low-fat diet, dark chocolate can lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels. LDL is the “bad” cholesterol that can cause damage to tissue like that lining in your heart arteries. That means that dark chocolate can support cardiovascular health too! 

Contact Us 

So as Valentine’s Day approaches, make sure to aim for the dark chocolate sweets over anything else! Contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment with any dermatology services.      

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