Some do not know the benefits of chocolate, which is why it is a food both loved and feared at the same time. But according to science, this sweet can be good for health if consumed in moderation and correctly.
The benefits of chocolate increase with the amount of cocoa used in the composition. Therefore, the number and variety of dark chocolates on sale increase daily, as they have more cocoa and less fat.
Without further ado, find out below all the preliminary information about the benefits and harms of chocolate. That way, we are sure that you will start to see chocolate with new eyes… Or rather, with a different taste! Check out!
Table of Contents
What are the benefits of chocolate?
Dark and semisweet chocolates have health benefits proven by science, such as fighting free radicals, inflammation, and bad cholesterol. Check out these and other candy effects in more detail below!
- Increases heart health: Dark chocolate’s antioxidants have been proven to decrease blood pressure, enhance blood flow to the heart, and decrease the risk of clotting, resulting in improved heart health. This ultimately lowers the chances of stroke, coronary heart disease, and heart disease-related fatalities.
- Fight free radicals: Scientific studies and laboratory analyses show that dark chocolates are antioxidants. Thus, chocolates can reduce or inhibit the action of free radicals, malignant substances that impede the healthy life cycle of cells and can increase the risk of various diseases. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, diabetes, hypertension, and various other degenerative and autoimmune diseases may be at lower risk after constant consumption of antioxidant foods.
- Fight inflammation: Dark chocolate is also anti-inflammatory, according to a study in Italy. Research shows that the composition of “dark chocolate” (dark chocolates with less milk and more cocoa) is rich in polyphenols and substances that fight inflammation.
- Improves mood: Everyone has heard that eating chocolate makes us happy. What happens is that this food (anything, as long as it is from the dark) can improve mood.
- Stimulates mind and body: Laboratory analyses on a pure and semisweet chocolate show that they are stimulants containing a certain degree of caffeine and theobromine. These substances come from cocoa. Thus, consuming healthy chocolates can help you train and study better and be ideal on days of bad mood or indisposition.
- Reduces bad cholesterol: Few people know, but dark chocolates can also help treat lousy cholesterol, known as LDL. This is due to its composition rich in polyphenols. But remember, use it very sparingly. Otherwise, the effect is the opposite.
- It’s good in old age: Dark chocolate is highly recommended for older people because of its benefits for the heart and its stimulating effect. In addition, the study shows that dark, dark chocolate is excellent for neurovascular capacity, which protects the brain against diseases common in the elderly.
What are the harms of chocolate?
Chocolate contains high amounts of saturated fat and sugar, making it a high-energy, calorie-dense food that can lead to excessive weight gain, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. One may opt for sources such as beans, pulses, fruits, and vegetables to obtain polyphenols more healthily.
Also, It Can stimulate skin oils. It is common to hear people saying that “eating chocolate gives you pimples,” and that is a half-truth. Happens is that ordinary chocolate has fats from milk, cocoa butter, and sugars.
All of this stimulates sebum production, which can cause the clogging of pores and the inflammation known as pimples. The study also links the excessive consumption of chocolate with acne observed in men and women.
How to make healthy homemade chocolate?
Have you ever thought about making healthy homemade chocolate? If you are interested in this, we will show you the best recipe for homemade chocolate! Check out:
- Add ½ kg of cocoa powder and 1 kg of brown sugar or demerara in a pan. Mix well
- Then add 1 litre of whole milk and bring to medium heat. Stir until it becomes smooth and the chocolate starts coming off the bottom of the pan. After that, turn off the fire.
- Keep stirring for the next 3 to 5 minutes
- Then take the mixture to a buttered baking dish and wait for it to cool.
- Finally, when the chocolate has hardened, cut it into tablets, store it in a closed jar in the refrigerator, and consume it within two weeks.
You can also use skim milk instead of whole milk. However, do not use white or icing sugar in this recipe, as these are refined sugars that are not good for your health.
We are looking for a delicious and easy way to enjoy chocolate. Try making chocolate mousse with orange! This recipe perfectly blends sweet and tangy flavours to satisfy any chocolate lover’s cravings. To make this decadent dessert, mix melted dark chocolate, whipped cream, and orange zest and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours. Once set, you’ll have a creamy and indulgent treat that will impress your taste buds. Check out our recipe for Chocolate Mousse with Orange: A Delicious and Easy Recipe.
How to make homemade chocolate powder?
To make an excellent homemade chocolate powder, you must follow procedures 1 and 2, mentioned in the previous topic. After turning off the heat, continue stirring until completely cool. This will make it grainy in texture.
Finally, pass these sprinkles through a fine sieve or use a food processor to turn the chocolate into powder.
What is chocolate?
In the primary and classic recipe, chocolate combines cocoa, milk, and sugar. Thus, it can be found in different shapes and textures: bars, chocolates, truffles, syrup, and fillings.
According to the Ministry of Tourism of America, a survey by Ibope indicated that 75% of Americans consume chocolate in the country. Of this percentage, 61% of consumers buy chocolate for the taste, satisfaction, and pleasure it provides. Thus, the remaining 14% consume chocolate for health benefits or other reasons.
One of the most significant drawbacks of chocolate consumption is its associated weight gain, pimples, and various harms. Indeed, milk chocolate is rich in fats and sugar, bringing these harms when consumed in excess. But on the other hand, dark chocolates can be pretty healthy.
What is the healthiest type of chocolate?
According to research, dark chocolate is considered the healthiest option since it undergoes minimal processing, resulting in a higher concentration of flavonoid-rich cocoa beans.
It’s pretty simple to find out which is the healthiest chocolate. To do this, observe the cocoa content and read the product’s composition on the label.
The fewer ingredients, the healthier the chocolate. So, see which are the healthiest chocolates and other types of this same product:
- Dark chocolates (from 51% to 100% cocoa): are the healthiest, with 100% cocoa being the most beneficial type of chocolate. It is rich in antioxidants and has the least sugar, as they only have the natural sugar of cocoa. Its flavour is robust and striking.
- Dark chocolates (from 35% to 50% cocoa): have less sugar than traditional chocolate. It’s a perfect option for those who don’t like the bitter taste of healthier choices but don’t want to consume regular chocolate. As the name implies, it has a slightly bitter and sweet taste.
- Milk Chocolate (from 10% to 25% cocoa): Includes solid cocoa, cocoa butter, and over 12% milk and sugar. The milk used is powdered milk, so it is the sweetest chocolate. On the other hand, it is the least healthy of the dark chocolates.
- White chocolate: has milk, sugar, and cocoa butter (or hydrogenated vegetable fat, the worst of which is organic). Thus, it has no benefits and should be consumed in great moderation.
- Diet chocolates: they are called that because they don’t have added sugar, but they still contain the natural sugar of cocoa and usually have a large number of harmful fats
- Carob: is a natural ingredient (roasted and ground beans) that replaces cocoa. With it, consumption by lactose and gluten-intolerant people is possible. Its taste is similar to the taste of dark chocolates.
The information for this list was taken from the website of the Department of Health of the State of Goiás.
Tips for buying a healthy chocolate
When buying chocolate, some precautions are essential to ensure you are purchasing a quality product and the healthiest possible. See the tips we have separated for you to acquire the best chocolate:
- Cocoa content: we’ve already talked, and we’ll repeat it: the more cocoa, the better for health
- Amount of Sugar: Look for sugar-free or sugar-sweetened versions. You can find this information on the label.
- Type of fat: never buy if there is hydrogenated fat in the composition, as it is a fat that is harmful and cancels out the benefits of chocolate
- Check expiration date
- Package in good condition: do not buy if there are holes, tears, or signs that the box has been opened
- Look at the label: if there is no expiration date and list of ingredients, for example, don’t buy.
What is the recommended daily amount of chocolate?
Last but not least, a common question for chocoholics: how much chocolate can we eat daily?
Chocolate is not a food that should be consumed every day. Health institutions, such as the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, point out that chocolate should be consumed once or twice a week, in small quantities, and must be of the bitter type.
There are many harms for those who consume a lot of chocolate daily. In addition to containing sugar, as cocoa has fructose, too much chocolate can cause obesity and malaise.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.