4 Factors That Make Chocolate Healthy or Unhealthy
It is often believed that chocolate is considered a health risk, but it is actually possible to consume it without getting any kind elevated risk to our health. In the past few decades, chocolate has enjoyed renewed popularity among the health-conscious consumers. It is believed that consuming the bitter, dark variety of chocolate at specific amount each day could provide us with plenty of benefits. Polyphenols are one of the antioxidants and they are able to reduce damages caused by free radicals in our body. Numerous studies have clearly shown that dark chocolate is able to lower the LDL oxidation and it is often considered as the bad cholesterol. On the other hand, chocolate lovers are known to have increased level of HDL or good cholesterol. It is important for us to look further if we want to properly understand about things that can make chocolate healthy or unhealthy. There are four factors that we need to consider, whether ir is the dark variety, whether it is added with proper type of fat, how much is the percentage of cocoa and how much is the sugar content.
Fat content: In general, any bar of chocolate has about 35 percent of fat content. However, the more important thing is whether the type of fat is less harmful for our body. In good quality chocolate, much of the fat should be the cocoa butter itself. Unfortunately, cheap chocolate is often added with trans-fat, or specifically hydrogenated vegetable oil. This kind of fat is added to increase the overall shelf life of the chocolate. In this case, it is better to use the more expensive, high-quality chocolate.
Type of chocolate: There are dark and milk chocolate. It is generally believed that dark chocolate is a healthier variant. The reason is that the dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids and less sugar. It’ a valid reason and real dark chocolate shouldn’t contain any externally-added fat. On the other hand, standard milk chocolate has milk fat and it’s actually a type of saturated fatty acid that can slightly increase cholesterol levels.
Sugar content: In its pure form, chocolate is better and taste somewhat unpleasant. For this reason, almost all chocolate in the market, including dark chocolate contains some sugar. However, we should be aware that milk chocolate contains more sugar. As a result, they taste better and more preferred by consumers. Their taste has been designed to please people and this will stimulate cravings. It means that we could consume more milk chocolate.
Percentage of Cocoa: Another essential factor to determine healthy chocolate is the amount of cocoa, compared to milk fat, sugar and other added ingredients. Good quality dark chocolate shouldn’t contain milk fat and it should have less sugar. It is important for us to choose good quality dark chocolate that could really provide us with higher quantity of chocolate. It’s a safer option to improve our overall health. It’s acceptable to consume milk chocolate, but only at limited amount.