Is Chocolate Good for Health?: No single piece of confectionary can boast to arouse as much passion as chocolate does. You generally think of chocolate as being both good and bad. But what is it really? Is chocolate fattening? Does it increase cholesterol? Is dark chocolate better for you than milk chocolate?
In the times of the Aztecs and Mayans, chocolate was attributed medicinal properties. It wasn’t until the eighteenth century that we discovered the pleasure of eating it. At home, the law governs the composition of different types of chocolate. To be called chocolate, a product may not contain any vegetable fat other than cocoa butter. Otherwise, it is a “chocolate delicacy.”
Quality chocolate is made of dough and cocoa butter, sugar and a little lecithin. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less it contains sugar, and the more the taste is bitter.
That is why chocolate that is made of 70% or more cocoa is a better choice for health. The quality of chocolate is also confirmed by the fact that its finish is shiny, and that it breaks without letting loose a single crumb. Becoming an expert in chocolate is as tedious as it is in wine!
Cocoa contains polyphenols, specifically catechins, with antioxidant properties. These substances help protect cholesterol from oxidation. Knowing that saturated fatty acids are known to raise levels of bad cholesterol, which can clog arteries and reduce blood flow, this is great news for fans of this little pleasure. Stearic fatty acids (unsaturated) that are contained in chocolate have no influence on blood cholesterol.
Satisfaction and Pleasure
Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. With it, the consumption of chocolate causes a feeling of satisfaction. Studies also show that chocolate releases dopamine, a hormone closely involved in the sensation of pleasure.
Moderation is Always in Good Taste
This adage applies well here. By its composition, chocolate remains a food rich in fat and is highly caloric. Even sugar-free chocolate is no exception. It has in it chocolate cream that contains a sugar substitute, which in turn increases the rate of fat retained – causing more and more calories to pile on!
Chocolate multiplies pleasures, invites love, and cares for wounded hearts. We all have a reason to love chocolate! White chocolate has no cocoa solids, and so doesn’t have the beneficial properties of dark chocolate.
In terms of chocolate, two keywords to remember are quality and moderation. If you respect these, you can say goodbye to the guilt and bite your teeth into a square of good chocolate!