Chocolate is considered junk food, but it can be healthy- read this. Chocolate comes in so many different forms, but in its basic types, there are basically three- white, milk and dark, in the order of increasing cocoa content.
We talked about how cocoa contains flavanoids, which are basically heart healthy compounds. Between dark, milk and regular chocolate- dark contains the highest amount of cocoa, then its milk and then its white. Read our previous post on dark chocolate.
Milk chocolate usually contains higher amount of sugar than dark chocolate. And, white chocolate actually does not contain cocoa. It is made from cocoa butter, milk and sugar.
Between milk, white and dark chocolate, their calorific value from sugar and fat is about the same, but flavanoid packed dark chocolate comes out a winner in this race.
You think chocolate is unhealthy because is high in both sugar and fat? Well, it is high in sugar and fat, but its not exactly unhealthy.
Cocoa is rich in flavanoids—the same heart-healthy compounds found in red wine and green tea. Its most potent form is dark chocolate. In a recent study, Greek researchers found that consuming dark chocolate containing 100 milligrams (mg) of flavanoids relaxes your blood vessels, which improves blood flow to your heart.
What about the fat and the calories? The fat is mostly stearic and oleic acids. Yes, it can be high on the calories, so get a bar of chocolate and split it with your friends. A couple of pieces will benefit you, but a whole bar will pack on the pounds!
Not all chocolates are equal. A recent study showed that eating dark chocolate might help you consume fewer calories than those who did not.
Participants in the study were divided into two groups- one was fed dark chocolate, and the other, milk chocolate. A few hours after their chocolate snack, they were given pizza and told to eat till they were comfortably full. The dark chocolate group ate 15% less pizza than the milk chocolate group.
Dark chocolate has a high cocoa content. Cocoa is rich in antioxidants, and antioxidants are good for your health. So, the higher the cocoa content in dark chocolate, the more the antioxidants.
Dark chocolate contains flavanoids which have shown to increase blood flow to your brain for up to 3 hours. So, while helping you manage weight, chocolate can make you smarter too!
So, is all dark chocolate good for you? The higher the cocoa content in your dark chocolate, the better it is for you. The best kind of dark chocolate is unprocessed. Processed dark chocolate can contain high sugar and fat content, so watch out before the calories add up.
Indulge in moderation