The Truth About Chocolate and Your Health

[♪ INTRO] Chocolate. As if we needed any more excuses to indulge
in the sweet stuff, there are constantly claims floating around that, hey, chocolate might
actually be good for you. There is some science to back that up but,
you guessed it, the devil’s in the details. Most of these claims involve flavonoids, a
class of compounds found in lots of plants including cacao, the plant whose seeds are
used to make cocoa and chocolate. And some studies have linked flavonoids to
a decreased risk of heart disease. Some experimental studies, which are considered
the best type of study for establishing cause and effect, have shown decreases in blood
pressure when healthy adults were given specially developed, high-flavonoid cocoa drinks or
chocolate. For example, one 2015 study found that 100
adults who drank a high cocoa chocolate drink twice a day for one month had a drop in blood
pressure of around 4 millimeters of mercury, which is a measure of pressure. And a drop in blood pressure of just two millimeters
has been associated with a decreased risk of stroke or heart problems, at least on average
within a population. There are also a few experiments that hint
that flavonoids could improve blood flow to the brain, which in turn might mean better
brain function. For example, a 2014 study in Nature Neuroscience
found that older adults did better on a memory task, and had increased blood flow to particular
memory centres in the brain, if they’d had a high-flavonoid cocoa drink for three months. But there are a bunch of other studies that
only show changes in brain blood flow and not improvements in cognition. And, there are a few key points in these experiments
that mean that a candy bar now and then isn’t going to give you any benefit. For one, in most of these trials, it took
weeks or months to see any health benefits. And most of the cocoa drinks in the experiments
were specially made to have high levels of flavonoids — between 400 and 1000 milligrams
— using cocoa that’s processed differently than regular supermarket chocolate. Even 400 mg is more flavonoids than chocolate
normally has, and you’d need to eat at least two large bars of regular dark chocolate every
day to get that much. Even if you did, the way cocoa is processed
to make it less bitter as well as adding milk or sugar has been shown to reduce the levels
of flavonoids or the body’s ability to absorb them. Plus, the flavonoid-enriched chocolate used
in these types of experiments isn’t particularly tasty. Some participants were even put off from eating
it. Yeah — these studies managed to make chocolate
taste bad. So you won’t be finding these flavonoid-rich
drinks and bars at the supermarket. So, overall, there is evidence that flavonoids
in chocolate and other foods have a small, beneficial effect on heart and maybe brain
health. But how that works isn’t fully understood
yet, and more importantly, these compounds occur in small enough quantities in your average
bon-bon or candy bar that to get an effective dose, you’d have to eat quite a bit more
chocolate than you should. I mean, all the sugar and fat that comes with
that chocolate is going to outweigh any benefits. So, enjoy chocolate as a treat, but don’t
expect to be living longer because of it. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow,
which we couldn’t have made without the help of our community of supporters. Check out to learn more. [♪ OUTRO]

100 thoughts on “The Truth About Chocolate and Your Health

  1. You just single handedly brought about the beginning of the collapse of the Free world with this video……..

  2. And absolutely no mention in the video or comments about levels of lead in chocolate –several times higher than in some other food sources. Look it up.

  3. i like chocolate because its its deliciously fatty, not because of all the sugar
    but i also enjoy not having the overwhelming bitter

  4. Just go for nibs, or raw cacao, undutched. And, as an added antioxidant defence for your body, drink 3 cups of coffee per day.

  5. Eat pure cacao chocolate. When you cut down on sugar the bitterness of real chocolate becomes enjoyable.

  6. More importantly, eating small amounts of chocolate cause an increase of dopamine which is widely understood to be good for you. (just don't overdo it)

  7. Honestly disappointed you guys didn't mention thtmat you can buy raw cacao powder/nibs and get well over enough flavonoids and theobromine from just an ounce. It doesn't taste great, but that doesnt matter imo.

  8. Love the chocolate but dont count on it keeping you healthy. Any small side benefit would be offset by the increased calorie and sugar ingest. As the old saying goes moderation is 🔑.

  9. Of course chocolate by itself tastes bad, a loooot of people don’t like coffee and they have similar flavors, we just process the chocolate to candy, if they made a high-flavonoid cocoa drink (could even add caffeine to make it more like coffee even though I think it contains some already) and drink it like coffee

  10. I don't know, there's a mountain on the Toblerone I put away each day, that mountain looks pretty healthy.

  11. Eating Lindt chilli dark chocolate makes me super turned on it's even embarrassing when I am around my parents and siblings lol I can't be the only one !!???

  12. What about Mexican made chocolate? It has a significantly different taste than chocolate you find in the states. I've even asked my dad about this, since he grew up in Mexico and knows exactly what I'm talking about. I'm not a fan of most chocolate treats made in Mexico but I do like the chocolate bricks of any brand used to make hot chocolate or other uses. Still, they all have that same flavor that is unmistakably Mexican chocolate. It a little similar to dark chocolate but nothing at all like the taste of milk chocolate. He jokingly said it might be because of lead but he was also half serious.

  13. This is why I don't watch your channel to actually learn anything. Good job purposefully leaving out the fact that there are 99-100% cacao bars out there and eating just a piece of them a couple of times a day can improve your mood and health. But no just bring up the fact that chocolate has sugar and other harmful things. Those are candy and not actual chocolate that helps heal you.

  14. Here's how to make chocolate good for your health.
    Step 1: Believe that chocolate will improve your health.
    Step 2: Eat chocolate.
    Step 3: Watch as the placebo effect improves your health.

  15. Sorry but studies showing that chocolate, coffee or wine kill you / turn you into a happy genius are trash science. Its like exercise science – they change their mind every month depending on which industry paid them to do the study. "This month you must do HIIT! This month, HIIT will give you cancer! Now this month you must take ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin! But now that doesn't work and its gingko biloba! PLEASE BUY OUR SUPPLEMENTS THEY ARE ONLY 50 DOLLARS FOR 6 TABLETS AND YOU MUST TAKE 20 A DAY". 42 years on this planet and I have learned at least that much …. 🙁

  16. Flavonoids are antioxidants, if u want to eat flavonoids, anthocyanin is the best option, grab any plant part that is red or purple and eat it

  17. So theroretically you make high blood pressure medication out of something more natural? Even if it takes longer to work, lower blood pressure is still good and for people taking other meds, cacao isnt going to conflict with anything so it could be useful. Biggest problem with cacao is how its harvested. I love chocolate but not enough to buy it regularly and contribute to the mistreatment of other people.

  18. Wasn't chocolate a good source for L-tryptophan? A chemical used to make serotonin that enhance mood in people? Because I eat dark 85%+ chocolate for that reason.

  19. They didn't "manage" to make chocolate taste bad. Chocolate does taste bad. The reason for adding the sugar and milk.

  20. paraffin is used is the production of commercial chocolate and that ingredient is a saturated fat hence unhealthy , the coco in chocolate is similar to the caffeine in coffee and stimulants aren't a food for say , more like a mild drugs :-/

  21. I'd like to know what is considered "regular dark chocolate bars." I assume it would be a 45% dark chocolate bar (still mostly sugar). But what about an 85% dark chocolate bar. Do the high percentage chocolates have a beneficial amount of flavonoids?

  22. 🙉I don't care what you say, chocolate is a food group and I like it much darker than what most people consider to be dark chocolate so I'm going to pretend that means it's good for me.

  23. You don't make much mention of dark chocolate. I use 95% DC, one square a day with my tea. Is that not enough?

  24. Sci show y’all are true hero’s shutting down click bait culture and pseudo science thanks for your service, sincerely!

  25. Technically almost anything u eat turns into sugar and stored fat. Oh and like they said no diet can decrease ur risk for cancer. You know by that logic I can eat McDonald's everyday. Thank u scishow for giving me this information. Like thank you for ignoring the fact that scientists have proved that eating 5 servings of vegetables a day decreases ur risk for cancer by ten percent. Oh and thank you for not including the fact that there is actually a thing called phytocytes in vegetables that rid your body of carcinogens that cause cancer. Thank you👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏. If nobody is going to say this then I will. Ohhh and haven't scientists also listed cancer as a preventable disease there are things that cause it like carcinogens. U may have not known that.

  26. Of course chocolate's good for you. It's a good source of carbohydrates and fats, both of which are essential nutrients. Just don't eat too much of it.

  27. I use 100% Cacao chocolate bar, no sugar. I put one square of it in my coffee or hot cocoa drink. On another occasion I may put a teaspoon of chocolate nibs in my coffee. It gives a relaxing kind of optimism when i add either of those ingredients to my coffee. So anyway, it is very beneficial for my outlook and peace of mind

  28. According to my own scientific studies, which I did on myself at my house, eating chocolate increases my happiness rating significantly and abstaining from it makes me a sad. The results are conclusive! I should eat more chocolate! 🙂

  29. The laxactive chemicals they put in the chocolate rabbits for easter to give it that glossy look will give you diarhea

  30. I drink about 100g of pure cocoa every day. Its healthier than 100g of coffee. But there isn't a high level of flavanoids in cacoa like there is cacao.

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