|Author: Diana Herrington
There’s so much research out there saying how healthy chocolate is. I believe the research did not take into account all the sugar added to the chocolate treats that most people eat. This means that not only are we eating sugar that will depress our immune system, but we are adding fattening calories.
It’s true that cocoa powder in the dried form has beneficial effects:
1. Increased vascular reactivity.
(According to Clinicaltrials at the University of Utah)
Notice this refers to cocoa powder which has no sugar of any type in it.
More Cocoa Health Benefits:
1. Lowers cholesterol, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2003. (The white chocolate consumers, the control group in this study, experienced no health benefits.)
What is Cocoa and Where Does it Come From?
Cocoa comes from the Theobromo cacao evergreen tree which grows well the tropical rainforest. It is a small tree of 4–8 meters and does well in the shade of the larger trees.
Half of the cocoa bean is made of fat in the form of cocoa butter. Cocoa powder is the edible non-fat part of the cacao bean. Most of the fats in chocolate are saturated, but it also contains lots of the "good" fats: oleic and linoleic acids.
Nutritional Benefits of Cocoa:
I have "Chocolate Concerns." Is Chocolate as Healthy as Claimed?
We know that dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate due to its higher polyphenols and lower sugar content. Still, it is made with fat and sugar and those ingredients, as we know, are not good for the body. We regularly test individuals for dark chocolate and it always tests as energy draining.
Do not replace healthy foods such as fresh fruits with chocolate. One raw apple is only 52 calories and has added health benefits. A 100 gram serving of Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Bar has 531 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You could eat 10 apples!
The serotonin and dopamine boost by chocolate is only temporary. Like any "high" it will come down, and it is better to enhance your mood with overall good nutrition and lifestyle.
"Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate…and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate," says Mauro Serafini, PhD, of Italy’s National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome.
Most cocoa studies are funded by chocolate manufacturers because that industry wants to sell you chocolate by convincing you of all the health properties of cocoa.
Most chocolate products are made with GMO cocoa beans. Make sure your chocolate is GMO free.
Today’s chocolate is made with a high fat and sugar content; this is what makes it not at all healthy. There is much evidence that the combination of fat and sugar is toxic to the body. It can cause insulin resistance, diabetes, inflammatory disorders and obesity, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. This combo has been found to activate the same receptors in the brain as cocaine. This is why there are so many chocoholics. It is addictive.
What Kind of Chocolate to Eat:
I have been making my own chocolate with healthy ingredients for a few years now and never buy or eat the commercially made stuff. Even the chocolate in health food stores is filled with unhealthy ingredients. All of my chocolate recipes are made with healthy sugars in small quantities.
One Of My Favorite Recipes
Homemade Walnut Dark Chocolate No sugar, No fuss. Easy simple and delicious.
Ceramic vessels containing cacao beverage residue have been found by archeologists dating back to 1900-900 BC. One such vessel found on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, Mexico dates as early as 1750 BC.