The Chocolate Truth!

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2008 by Teena in Labels: , , , , , , ,

Some say chocolates are a health food or just a treat to us. Admit it. It is a pleasure for us when we are eating chocolates. In fact, others are craving for chocolates.

Anyway, some essential “truthful” information is found here:

The source of the chocolate is the seeds within the pods of the cacao tree. It is bitter. If you chew on a cacao bean, the taste is very bitter and not as tastefully appealing as expected of a sweet chocolate.

There is an antioxidant found in the cocoa solids. It is called “flavanols”. This is where the healthy claims of a chocolate come from. The more we eat a chocolate, the more flavanols we consume. It takes about four ounces, around four regular size of dark chocolate bars, eaten everyday to reduce blood pressure. Hey, and that is 500 calories and 42 grams of fat!

There are different ways to prepare a chocolate. And there are regulations to be followed as set by the government of what can be called a “chocolate”. It will entirely depend on its ratio of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. Different arrays of chocolates, from baking chocolate (no sugar added), to dark chocolate (limited sugar and plenty of cocoa solids) to milk chocolate (plenty of sugar, milk, and less cocoa solids), to “white chocolate” (my favorite, and is not considered a chocolate, because no cocoa solids can be found).

Chocolate is also considered a “carrier” of other nutrients. There are those chocolates which are calcium fortified, in milk and dark chocolate varieties. They provide half the daily calcium requirement plus Vitamin D. Plant chemicals (phytosterols) are also added to some chocolates to lower the cholesterol level of the chocolate product.

The end result is that enjoy a moderate serving of the chocolate. Simply don’t start eating chocolate as a supplement to a healthy diet. Better be conscious of the calorie count, and monitor chocolate proportions. Indulge reasonably. We don’t need to rationalize the treat for chocolates for the health benefits of a chocolate. Remember, even if flavanols are found in chocolates, they are also existing in other different foods, like grapes, apples, tea, among others.

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