The truth about chocolate

Chocolate. Who doesn‚Äôt love it? From milk to dark, white to ruby, no matter what your preference, it holds a special place in your heart (and stomach ūüėČ).

But no matter how much we love it, chocolate has a bad rep when it comes to eating healthy. This is mainly due to its’ high fat and sugar content, meaning that chocolate is loaded with calories. Eating too much can inevitably lead to weight gain, and has been associated with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes.

But with all this negative press¬†attached to the consumption, there are a number of benefits associated with this one of its‚Äô ingredients ‚Äď cocoa ‚Äď that are often overlooked. In fact, cocoa has historically been consumed for its‚Äô purported healing properties. The Kuna Indians of Panama consume an average of 3 10-ounce cups of cocoa beverage daily and the¬†prevalence of hypertension among this population is very low. The population also experiences lower rates of diabetes mellitus, myocardial infarction, stroke and cancer when compared to mainland Panamanians, and a particular study by McCullough hypothesised that the consumption of 10 times as much cocoa by the Kuna Indians vs. those living in the city may be partly responsible for these benefits.

Eating ten times more chocolate sounds great right? is not that simple as chocolate and cocoa are two very different things.

Whilst cocoa¬†or cacao, is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of the fruit of the cocoa tree,¬†Theobroma cacao,¬†Chocolate is a solid food made by combining cocoa butter with¬†sugar and cocoa liquor (The paste made from ground, roasted, shelled, and fermented cocoa beans, called nibs - it contains both nonfat cocoa solids and cocoa butter and is what is referred to as ‚Äúpercent cacao‚ÄĚ on food packaging which ¬†determines how dark the chocolate is.

It is the cocoa and the cocoa liquor which house many of the health benefits due to their high concentration of bioactive compounds. whereas cocoa butter contains significant amounts of fatty acids, cocoa and cocoa liquor contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and polyphenols.

Milk chocolate, the most commonly consumed form of chocolate is made with the addition of condensed or powdered milk to the chocolate mixture and typically¬†contains only 10%‚Äď12% cocoa liquor, compared to¬†Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate is often referred to as dark chocolate and must contain no less than 35% by weight of cocoa liquor, with some containing as much as 100%. White chocolate contains only cocoa butter (at least 20% by weight) combined with sweeteners and dairy ingredients.

So it is the cocoa powder, not chocolate that is linked with beneficial health outcomes and this does not mean that chocolate is healthy! It is important to remember that cocoa does not contain all the sugar, fat, calories that are found in chocolate and our liquid metaboost contains no added sugars of fats, only the pure cocoa blended with cinnamon, vanilla beans and a little cayenne pepper!



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