The myth that chocolate causes acne has been around for decades, if not longer. Is it true? Does eating chocolate really cause acne? Or did your mother just tell you that so you wouldn’t eat too much chocolate?
Western medical doctors and medical associations (like the American Academy of Dermatology) will tell you that diet does not cause acne or other skin conditions. This is because they are trained to treat the symptoms and the resulting disease or disorder, not to identify and eliminate the cause. However, healthcare and skin care practitioners from every healing modality other than Western Medicine will tell you that poor diet not only causes acne, but also rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and other disorders not just of the skin, but of the entire body.
Even some doctors who are MDs are now saying that there is a definite connection between one’s diet and skin conditions. Some of these doctors, like Howard Murad, MD and Nicholas Perricone, MD have even written numerous books on the relationship between nutrition and the skin. My philosophy is in line with these doctors, as well as traditions like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda who believe that food is medicine.
The truth is that chocolate itself will not cause acne breakouts…if it is the right kind of chocolate. Popular brands of milk chocolate that you see in candy stores actually contain very little actual chocolate (cacao). They are mostly dairy and sugar. Dairy and sugar can both trigger acne.
Actual chocolate is actually very healthy for the entire body, if consumed in moderation of course. Cacao beans “contain several nutrients that are important for overall health, such as magnesium, vitamin C, iron, antioxidant flavanoids, omega fatty acids, and many more.” These ingredients combat free radicals in the body and can actually help prevent and reduce inflammation.
So the bottom line is that if you eat the right kind of chocolate (70% cacao or higher), in moderation, it will not cause you to break out. In fact, it can contribute to better overall health.
If you have acne, or any other skin disorder, I highly recommend that you examine your diet and nutrition choices. Check for dairy, sugar, cholesterol, gluten, estrogen, and yeast containing foods. See what foods you can reduce or eliminate in these categories. And make sure you are drinking enough water.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Edited to add: For more information about the health benefits of cacao, check out Sacred Eden’s post…love this blog.