Chocolate, we love it, but does our skin? Donegal-based Nutritionist Sorcha McElchar from Sorchas Healthy Living takes a look at whether chocolate really does trigger acne breakouts.
Based outside Castlefin, Sorcha is a freelance Nutritionist with a BSc (Hons) degree in Food Science and Nutrition from LYIT. She shares food and fitness tips on her Healthy lifestyle and Nutrition blog sorchashealthyliving.com.
Chocolate is one of the world’s most popular sweet treats, and it has been around for a long time! Think back as far as 900AD. It’s changed a lot since then though. If you are someone who suffers from bad acne outbreaks you may have been told by your doctor to cut out chocolate from your diet, to see if that helps. Is there any proof that chocolate causes acne outbreaks? The answer is… not really!
This subject has been studied since 1969 and there still is no definitive proof that chocolate can cause acne. I would like to mention the studies carried out weren’t very thorough ones though, but still, there is no proof.
Chocolate is quite a nutritious food, especially dark chocolate which is a great source of antioxidants, fibre, 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 Food Nutrition Facts, 2019)
Dairy and sugar are two ingredients that do have some proof showing they can trigger acne outbreaks. Foods high in sugar cause your body to release a lot of insulin, and this insulin spike leads to excess sebum being released. This sebum clogs up pores leading to pimples and spots.
As for dairy, it does have a pro-inflammatory effect. It doesn’t affect everyone the same though so it may not affect you. Dark chocolate doesn’t have dairy, so it has anti-inflammatory effects which come from the active ingredient cocoa. Even though there is still cocoa in milk chocolate the dairy significantly dampens its anti-inflammatory effect.
Basically, if you do suffer from acne going off dairy (which would include milk chocolate) for a few weeks wouldn’t hurt. If it doesn’t help, then you can go back to eating chocolate. Dark chocolate really shouldn’t cause acne because it has less sugar, and it doesn’t contain a lot of dairy.
To learn more why not watch my video on “Can Chocolate Cause Acne Breakouts. THE FACTS!”
For realistic and sustainable Nutrition and healthy lifestyle advice, get in touch with Sorcha at: www.sorchashealthyliving.com