Rather than the classic box of refined chocolate this Valentine’s Day, these red velvet bliss balls filled with cacao are the perfect bite-sized snack that both you and your skin will love.
“Hold up! Katie, are you telling me that I can eat chocolate even though I have acne?”
Yes…and no. I am telling you that the cacao in these bliss balls is super helpful for clearing your skin (my clients in The Clear Skin Solution love to hear this!). But let’s talk about why I highly recommend raw cacao and NOT the conventional refined chocolate.
Researchers have been studying for decades whether or not chocolate affects the skin, and clearly it’s a question you have too.
Here’s the simple answer: It depends on the quality of the chocolate.
If you’re an acne-sufferer, refined chocolate is a BIG no-no. This type of chocolate is loaded with inflammatory dairy, sugar, and hydrogenated oils that trigger breakouts.
The dairy in refined chocolate like milk or white chocolate is bad news because the synthetic and even the naturally-occurring hormones in dairy can contribute to acne. Dairy also contains insulin-growth factor (IG1), which spikes insulin levels and then leads to blood sugar swings. The increase in blood sugar is a big culprit for acne because it causes the body to overproduce sebum. Casein, a protein in milk, has been shown to negatively impact the absorption of the skin-healing mineral zinc as well.
The refined sugar in poor-quality chocolate is another ingredient that can trigger acne. Refined sugar is a simple carbohydrate, meaning that your body quickly converts it to glucose and floods your bloodstream with it. This creates the perfect situation for inflammation and oxidative stress to flourish. In turn, acne is both triggered and aggravated.
Refined chocolate containing hydrogenated oils can also lead to breakouts. Hydrogenated oils are simply vegetable oils that are made solid at room temperature through a process called hydrogenation. Unfortunately, when vegetable oils are hydrogenated, trans fats are produced as well. Trans fats promote inflammation and as we know, inflammation contributes to more acne.
Cacao, on the other hand, is a skin-loving, antioxidant powerhouse that you have to include in your diet. Raw cacao powder is made with unroasted cocoa beans that have been cold-pressed. This process keeps the living enzymes and many of its beneficial nutrients intact.
I’m sure you don’t need to be convinced to eat more healthy chocolate, but if you do, here are a few reasons to include more raw cacao in your diet.