How do they make chocolate?
Chocolate is a food product, mainly consisting of a mixture of cocoa bean paste, sugar and milk. The word "chocolate" itself is derived from xocolatl , which means the phrase "bitter water" in the translation. The Aztec civilization used the word “chocolate” to refer to a bitter, strong-flavor energy drink made from cocoa beans and pepper.
In the 16-17th century, Europeans changed the method of preparing this drink by adding ingredients such as sugar and milk. The father of modern milk chocolate, Henry Nestle (creator of Nestlé) was the first to mix cocoa with condensed milk and sugar, and Rudolf Lindt (founder of Lindt) was a pioneer in the production of Swiss dark chocolate.
Types of chocolate
Depending on the combination of ingredients, different types of chocolate can be obtained. The most common are black, chocolate with milk and white chocolate. There are also variations such as hot chocolate, porous, chocolate for diabetics and so on. From a nutritional point of view, the dark is the most beneficial, due to its high flavanol content.
Flavanols are a unique type of molecule found exclusively in cocoa beans. According to scientific studies, flavanols have a powerful antioxidant effect, and also help the body regulate cholesterol levels and have a strengthening effect on the cardiovascular system. Among other things, they prevent aging of the skin and other body tissues.
What is the most healthy chocolate?
It is necessary to cancel that exclusively natural dark chocolate containing at least 70% of cocoa beans is beneficial for health. From a nutritional point of view, such a product consists of 30% fat, 6% protein, about 60% carbohydrates and about 3-5% water. It also contains minerals such as potassium and magnesium, plus vitamin A and B vitamins.
Other types of chocolate (especially milk and white chocolate) can be supplemented with cheap vegetable fats (such as palm oil ), which significantly reduce the cost of the product, but do not bring any benefits to the body. It is also important that such chocolate may contain trans fats that are extremely harmful to metabolism and a large amount of sugar.
Comparative table of types of chocolate (per 100 g):
|Kind of chocolate||Calories||The percentage of cocoa beans||Sugar||Squirrels||Total fat||Of which are saturated fats|
|Dark Chocolate (85%)||529 kcal||85%||14 g||12 g||29 g||14 g|
|Dark Chocolate (70%)||531 kcal||70%||29 g||11 g||29 g||15 g|
|Milk chocolate||537 kcal||40%||52 g||7 g||30 g||19 g|
|White chocolate||539 kcal||(Exclusively cocoa butter - 20%)||59 g||6 g||31 g||20 g|
Are they getting fat from chocolate?
On the one hand, chocolate is indeed an extremely high-calorie food. Any kind of chocolate contains at least 500 kcal per 100 g - twice as much as bread (250 kcal) and three times as much as meat (170 kcal). On the other hand, the use of chocolate in small quantities (25 g per day) is not able to cause any changes in the weight of a person or in an increase in the level of fat in the body.
However, the direct quality of chocolate also plays a key role. If real dark chocolate contains natural vitamins and antioxidants, then most types of milk and drinking chocolate are just a high-calorie bomb, consisting mainly of ordinary sugar - not to mention white chocolate, which does not have cocoa beans at all.
The scientific community has long debated whether chocolate addiction exists. It is known that for people with a deficiency of magnesium in the body, just like women on certain days of the menstrual cycle, it is extremely difficult to suppress the desire to enjoy chocolate. This is primarily due to a lack of magnesium, which directly affects the body's production of the hormone of joy, serotonin .
Among other things, natural chocolate contains a certain amount of caffeine (about 5-20 mg per 100 g; for comparison, a cup of coffee contains about 50-80 mg of caffeine) and a number of bioactive substances (for example, theobromine), which have a similar effect. It is important to note that theobromine is a powerful toxin for cats and dogs, so they should never be given chocolate.
The benefits of chocolate for the brain
Studies have shown that drinking chocolate (or pure cocoa) for at least 5 days enhances blood flow to the part of the brain that is responsible for efficiency and vigilance. Scientists add that the antioxidants in chocolate are able to neutralize small short-term inflammations that usually provoke a fog of thoughts.
It is also believed that the effect of flavanols and antioxidants in chocolate is similar to aspirin - they seem to thin the blood, reducing the likelihood of clot formation. Moreover, according to studies, the positive effect of taking a portion of high-quality chocolate for the body as a whole, and for the brain in particular, can last up to six hours.
Diabetic Chocolate Sugar Free
In most cases, chocolate with sweeteners is recommended exclusively for people with diabetes , since the recipe for such a product is very different from regular chocolate. The flavonoid content in diet chocolate is usually substantially lower, and sweeteners are added in amounts that can cause digestive problems.
If you adhere to a low-carb diet and try to limit the intake of carbohydrates as much as possible, it is better to opt for natural black chocolate of high quality, and not for products with saccharin or sucralose. FitSeven already wrote that these sugar substitutes are able to exert the same effect on the hormonal background of an organism as regular sugar.
Natural dark chocolate is extremely healthy food due to its nutritional value and high content of flavanols and antioxidants. White and milk chocolate are, in fact, artificial types of chocolate containing much more sugar. Similar foods, just like hot and porous chocolate, should be limited in proper diet.
- Chocolate, a healthy pleasure, source
- Cacao, una aportación de México al mundo, source
- Codex alimentarius - Norma para el chocolate y los productos de chocolate, source