… Always eat HIGH quality chocolate – and always in moderation!
Let’s talk Good quality vs Bad quality
The above statements are not written because I am a chocolate snob (even though I am!), but because I cannot stay quiet about just how bad poor-quality chocolate is for our health.
First let’s look at what is good about high quality chocolate. Briefly – why is it good for us?
There have been numerous scientific studies proving the nutritional benefits of chocolate – but only from dark chocolate of 70% cocoa or higher, preferably from an organic source and one which is pure where no additives such as palm oil have been added. (more on this a bit further down) Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and is packed with nutrients… giving it its well-deserved title of being a super-food.
Dark chocolate contains phytonutrients called flavonoids which act as antioxidants (more than green tea!), which plays a role in potential cancer prevention, helps weight loss and promotes heart health. It also contains theobromine, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and potentially lowers blood pressure.
The published studies on this subject are abundant an if you wish to know more, a simple Google search will have you finding our so much more than you imagined. Below I have attached a few links on the subject.
Why STAY AWAY from bad quality chocolate!
The bad chocolate I am referring to here is the stuff that you can find in every convenience store across the globe. It is cheap and easy to find and if you have a look at the ingredients list you will find that it contains additional oils such as palm oil. Besides the fact that this oil is rapidly killing off our Orangutan population, it is also clogging your arteries – and if though delicious – your body is not able to digest it without enormous strain. This is why… and shockingly very few know this:
High quality couverture chocolate is made up of cocoa butter and chocolate liquor. Different levels of sugar are added to create the varying percentages of dark chocolate we know, and milk solids are added to make up milk chocolate. The cocoa butter in real couverture chocolate melts at human body temperature. Compound chocolate on the other hand, which generally comprises of cocoa powder and other vegetable oils (palm kernel, cottonseed, or soybean). This makes the chocolate a lot cheaper to manufacture, and also makes it easy to work with, however it has a melting point of 45 degrees Celsius, which means that it will never melt in your body, making it harder to digest and can raise your cholesterol level. No wonder chocolate has a bad rap! If only we were able to keep it natural and consume it in moderation, enjoying the health benefits, instead of rendering a healthy substance into a very unhealthy one! So… there is only one choice to make and it is a simply one. If you have a craving for something sweet, always opt for the healthier option. Yes, it is certainly more expensive – so simply buy less and enjoy it occasionally. This way your wallet remains lean and so does your body – all the while giving your taste buds the pleasure they deserve and your ‘treat myself’ mental place happy.