Question: Why Does Chocolate Cause Acne?
Answer: When we were kids, we would hear our parents warn us to not eat too much chocolate because it would cause acne. We heard this repeated again and again at school but even so, we would sneak chocolate when we could no matter what our parents, teachers, and friends told us. Eventually, we began to wonder why it is that chocolate causes acne. At least for myself, hearing that chocolate causes acne never made any sense. After all, chocolate is a food like any other (although chocolate tastes a whole lot better).
After investigating the question, we discovered that chocolate does not cause acne! Insistence that chocolate causes acne has persisted for over a century, believe it or not, but there is no clear correlation between the two.
Acne is caused by increased sebum production in the body. There is some evidence that high-fat, high-sugar diets can increase the production of sebum, which creates inflammatory responses in the body, and sometimes these responses are in the form of acne. In addition, high-fat, high-sugar diets are often low in healthy fruits and vegetables, which contain nutrients essential to good skin health.
It can be very difficult to figure out exactly what foods cause acne, as particular foods trigger different responses in different people. In some people, dairy products and sugary foods trigger inflammation, which can result in an acne outbreak. For these people, dark chocolate would be a better choice than milk chocolate or white chocolate, as dark chocolate contains less sugar and far less in the way of dairy (if any). In addition, dark chocolate has the advantage of containing higher levels of flavanoids that act as antioxidants in the human system, it’s been shown to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the brain, and dark chocolate contains significant amounts of potassium, copper, iron, and magnesium..
So what should you do? First and foremost, eat a well-balanced diet (yes, chocolate CAN be part of a well-balanced diet, if you eat high-quality chocolate in moderation). If you are prone to acne, try to track your outbreaks. See if you can figure out if particular foods cause breakouts. If you discover that your skin reacts badly to a food, stop eating that food for a while. Once you stop, see if there are signs of improvement in your skin. If so, that food is likely an acne trigger for you, and it would be best to limit it in your diet, at least for a while. And remember that your skin can change seasonally. Time spent in the sun and the harsh dryness of winter can contribute to breakouts and sensitive skin.
For far too long, chocolate has gotten a bum rap. People have pointed their finger at it as the cause of their acne. But we now know that it isn’t true. It’s time to put a stop to the myth! Chocolate does not cause acne but, chocolate does cause happiness!