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Chocolate facts and figures

Chocolate does NOT cause or aggravate ACNE.

Numerous clinical studies over the past two decades, have concluded that chocolate is not a cause or an exacerbating factor in the development or persistence of acne.

At the University of Missouri, a group of student volunteers with mild to moderate acne each consumed nearly 20 ounces of chocolate over a 48 hour period. Examination of lesions on the fifth day of the test and again on the seventh day showed no new lesions other than those that might be expected based upon the usual variations the subjects had exhibited during several weeks of observation prior to the test.

In a research study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, a group of 65 subjects were fed chocolate bars containing nearly ten times the amount of chocolate liquor as a normal 1.5 oz commercially available chocolate bar. A control group ate a bar that tasted like chocolate, but actually contained no chocolate liquor. At the conclusion of the test, the average acne condition of those eating the chocolate was virtually identical to that of the controls, who had eaten the imitation bars.

Chocolate is NOT high in CAFFEINE.

The amount of caffeine in coffee, tea or cola drinks is significantly higher than in a piece of chocolate candy. For example, a 5 ounce cup of instant coffee has between 40 and 108 mg of caffeine, while a one ounce milk chocolate bar contains only 6 mg of caffeine, little more than the amount found in a cup of decaffeinated coffee.

Moreover, there have been no reports in the scientific literature of any health problems among children or adults as a result of the caffeine consumed in chocolate.

Chocolate contains NUTRIENTS that help to keep the body healthy.

Chocolate is high in protein, calcium and iron.

Chocolate is LOW in CHOLESTEROL

As recommended by the American Heart Association, daily cholesterol intake should not exceed 300 mg. A 1.65 oz. chocolate bar contains only 12 mg of cholesterol while one oz piece of cheddar cheese contains 30 mg of cholesterol - more than double the amount found in a chocolate bar.

Chocolate is LOW in SODIUM

The maximum Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for sodium is 1,100 to 3,300 mg daily. A 1.5 oz milk chocolate bar contains 41 mg, while the same size dark chocolate bar contains only 5 mg.

Chocolate and CALORIES

Health professionals and nutritionists recommend keeping caloric intake from fat around 30% of your daily caloric intake. A 1.5 oz. milk chocolate bar contains 13 grams of fat; a dark chocolate bar of the same weight contains 12.

Chocolate and ALLERGY

Recent clinical studies have shown that people have allergy to chocolate relatively rare comparing with allergic reaction to other foods.

To allow objective evaluation of allergic symptoms the challenge should be conducted under double-blind conditions; in other words, neither the investigator nor the patient should know in advance whether the food administered is the suspected substance or a placebo.

According to the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, evaluation of hundreds of their patients has shown no confirmed allergic reaction to chocolate during double-blind challenges.

Chocolate and DENTAL CARIES

It is widely known that the "fermentable carbohydrate" is the main contributing factor to caries formation. Fermentable carbohydrate can be found in most starches and all sugars, including those that occur naturally in foods and those added in processed foods.

According to numerous dental research studies, although chocolate contains fermentable carbohydrates, it causes less tooth decay than has been traditionally believed.

Researchers started several theories trying to explain why the chocolate appears to be less cariogenic than its fermentable carbohydrate content would seem to indicate.

According to a research conducted at the Forsyth Dental Center in Boston, chocolate has the ability to offset the acid-producing potential of the sugar it contains.

Other research study at the Eastman Dental Center has shown that milk chocolate's protein, calcium and phosphate content may provide protective effects on tooth enamel and that because of its natural fat content, chocolate clears the mouth relatively faster than other confections. This factor is very important as the time fermentable carbohydrate, which remains in contact with tooth surfaces, has a bearing on the food's cariogenic potential.

Chocolate and WEIGHT CONTROL

Contrary to popular stereotype, most overweight people do not eat excessive amounts of cake, cookies, confections or other foods containing sugar. Their sugar intake tends, in fact, to be below average.

More important in controlling weight is the total number of calories consumed each day and the amount of energy expended in physical activity. Overweight children, for example, are generally less active than those of normal weight; thus, they may remain obese even when their caloric intake is reasonable or even limited.

Moreover, many people overestimate the calories in chocolate. A 1.5 oz milk chocolate bar contains approximately 220 calories, low enough to incorporate into a weight control diet. The occasional chocolate confection may also reduce the possibility of severe bingeing, which can occur as a result of feeling deprived of highly satisfying foods such as chocolate.

Other INTERESTING Facts

- Chocolate literally does melt in your mouth. Dark chocolate starts to melt at about 93° F. Milk chocolate melts at slightly lower temperatures.
- About 3 billion pounds of chocolate are consumed worldwide each year.
- The flavor of milk chocolate begins to deteriorate after about 6 months.
- The flavor of dark chocolate improves with time for up to 18 to 24 months.
- Europe imports almost 1.4 million tons of cacao beans each year, over 60% of the world market.
- Nine out of ten people like chocolate. It is said that the tenth person probably lies!

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