Chocolate, we love it, but does our skin like it? Sorcha McElchar, Donegal-based nutritionist from Sorchas Healthy Living, examines whether chocolate actually triggers acne breakouts.
Based outside of Castlefin, Sorcha is a freelance nutritionist with a BSc (Hons) degree in Food Science and Nutrition from LYIT. She shares tips on diet and fitness on her healthy lifestyle and nutrition blog sorchashealthyliving.com.
Chocolate is one of the most popular sweets in the world, and it’s been around for a long time! Think as far back as 900 AD. It has changed a lot since then. If you’re someone who suffers from severe acne breakouts, your doctor may have told you to cut out chocolate from your diet, to see if that helps. Is there any proof that chocolate causes acne breakouts? The answer is… not really!
This topic has been studied since 1969 and there is still no definitive proof that chocolate can cause acne. I would like to mention that the studies conducted were not very extensive, but there is still no evidence.
Chocolate is quite a nutritious food, especially dark chocolate which is an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber, potassium and magnesium. Milk chocolate also contains these things, but not as much. Milk chocolate contains more calcium (because of the milk), but it also contains more sugar.
Here is the nutritional difference between dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.
Table 1: Nutritional composition of dark, milk and white chocolate (CalorieKing – Compare nutritional values of foods2019)
Dairy products and sugar are two ingredients that have evidence showing they can trigger acne breakouts. Foods high in sugar cause your body to release a lot of insulin, and this insulin spike leads to the release of excess sebum. This sebum clogs the pores leading to pimples and spots.
As for dairy products, they have a pro-inflammatory effect. It doesn’t affect everyone equally, so it may not affect you. Dark chocolate does not contain dairy, so it has anti-inflammatory effects that come from the active ingredient cocoa. Even though there is still cocoa in milk chocolate, dairy products significantly dampen its anti-inflammatory effect.
Basically, if you suffer from acne, stopping dairy products (including milk chocolate) for a few weeks wouldn’t hurt. If that doesn’t help, you can go back to eating chocolate. Dark chocolate really shouldn’t cause acne because it’s lower in sugar and doesn’t contain a lot of dairy.
To find out more why not watch my video on “Can chocolate cause acne breakouts. THE FACTS!”
For realistic and sustainable advice on nutrition and healthy living, contact Sorcha at: www.sorchashealthyliving.com
Sorcha’s Healthy Living: Does Chocolate Cause Acne? was last modified: March 11, 2022 by