what percentage of dark chocolate is good for you

Nutrition and fitness expert Jody Trierweiler explains that the higher the percentage of cacao, the higher the health benefits of dark chocolate. Health benefits of dark chocolate; Milk, white and dark chocolate - nutrition facts; How can I use the chocolate. Want to snack the right way? Look for dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70 percent—though the higher the better, Kirkpatrick says.

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What percentage of dark chocolate is good for you -

4 proven benefits of dark chocolate and the best way to eat it

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  • Dark chocolate can benefit your brain and heart health, reduce inflammation, and combat oxidative stress in the body.
  • The flavonoids in dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and cholesterol while reducing your risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart disease. 
  • To achieve these health benefits, you should eat dark chocolate with 80% cacao. 
  • This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.
  • Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.

From a young age, we're told to not eat too many sweets, including chocolate. However, dark chocolate, especially if it has a high percentage of cacao, can actually be good for you. This type of chocolate presents a variety of health perks that can benefit your heart, brain, and overall health.

Here's why eating dark chocolate may be good for you.

Dark chocolate can be beneficial for heart health

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Dark chocolate can be good for your heart, in moderation

The reason dark chocolate is beneficial for heart health is that it contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that come from plants.

Flavonoids may have the following heart health benefits: 

  • Lower blood pressure: The mechanisms are not fully known how dark chocolate and its flavonoids lower blood pressure. "It may simply be that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory parts, as well as the blood-thinning and blood-vessel relaxing properties of these chemicals, are what's responsible for lowering blood pressure," says Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and professor at the Fielding School of Public Health. 
  • Lower cholesterol: Flavonoids may increase levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which is known as "good cholesterol," and improve their function. HDL cholesterol absorbs LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein), which is "bad cholesterol," and in turn, lowers cholesterol levels in your body. 
  • Prevent blood clots: Flavonoids in dark chocolate have been found to affect blood platelets positively. A 2007 study showed that platelets in modest chocolate eaters' blood were less likely to clot than non-chocolate eaters. The researchers concluded that these anti-clotting effects may be responsible for chocolate's positive effects on cardiovascular health.
  • Prevent stroke: Dark chocolate may reduce stroke risk due to this ability to lower blood pressure, since high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke. Additionally, since it relaxes blood vessels, this can also lower the risk of stroke, Hunnes says.
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease: A 2017 meta-analysis looked at five studies that examined the relationship between chocolate consumption and risk of heart disease. The analysis found that across the five studies, there was a decreased risk of heart disease associated with moderate chocolate consumption. 

Dark chocolate can improve brain health

Due to the cardiovascular benefits mentioned above, Hunnes says flavonoids can help increase blood flow to the brain. As a byproduct of this, you will get more oxygen to your brain and move toxins out of the brain more quickly. This protects your brain and can help prevent neurodegenerative conditions, like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

A small 2018 study stated that flavonoids can cross the blood-brain barrier and have a positive effect on electrical brain activity, which can improve attention and memory. In this study, the participants consumed 6.8 grams of dark chocolate to reap these benefits. 

Hunnes says the increased blood flow may be the mechanism by which dark chocolate is believed to improve memory, and therefore, eating small amounts of dark chocolate each day can have a beneficial effect on overall cognition. 

Dark chocolate may help reduce inflammation

According to Hunnes, consuming dark chocolate is a natural way to reduce inflammation in your body. That's because the antioxidants in dark chocolate — particularly flavonoids and polyphenols — have anti-inflammatory properties. 

Related
What is an anti-inflammatory diet and its benefits for heart health

Consuming anti-inflammatory foods provides overall health benefits, such as preventing future chronic diseases like heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

In fact, Hunnes says reducing inflammation can help protect the following organs: 

  • Heart 
  • Lungs
  • Liver 
  • Brain 

Dark chocolate reduces oxidative stress in the body

Both flavonoids and polyphenols — antioxidants present in dark chocolate — can also combat the damage of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are natural byproducts of life that may also be caused by pollution or ultraviolet radiation. They can cause damage to our cells' DNA and result in oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic disease.  

Because dark chocolate has an extremely high polyphenol content, it may help you reduce oxidative stress and combat free radicals. Here's how dark chocolate stacks up to other antioxidant-rich foods in terms of polyphenol content: 

  • Dark chocolate: 1664mg per 100g
  • Milk chocolate: 236mg per 100g
  • Strawberries: 235mg per 100g
  • Coffee: 214mg per 100mL
  • Ginger: 202mg per 100g
  • Red wine: 101mg per 100mL

The best way to consume dark chocolate

When choosing which type of dark chocolate to eat, a higher percentage of cacao is best. "The more cacao, the more healthy nutrients, the less sugar, and the less other potentially negative ingredients," Hunnes says.

In particular, 80% cacao is the minimum that Hunnes recommends for achieving health benefits. Hunnes says that you can have up to 20 to 30 grams per day of 80% dark chocolate, though if it's a lower percentage, you may want to eat a smaller amount each day. 

To make your dark chocolate intake even healthier, she also suggests choosing non-dairy versions or trying cacao nibs, which are roasted cacao beans. Hunnes also advises limiting your consumption of less healthy sweets, like milk chocolate or white chocolate, as they contain higher amounts of sugar and fat. 

The bottom line

Consuming dark chocolate in moderation is a low-risk, delicious way to improve your overall health and help ward off health problems like stroke, high blood pressure, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Just remember to opt for the highest percentage of cacao for the healthiest option. 

Related articles from Health Reference:

More:Health ExplainersHealthNutritionChocolate
Источник: https://www.insider.com/dark-chocolate-benefits

Why Is Dark Chocolate Good for You? Thank Your Microbes

Dark chocolate might pack a double positive punch for our health—thanks to the microbes that live in our gut. New research suggests that beneficial bacteria that reside toward the end of our digestive tract ferment both the antioxidants and the fiber in cocoa.

In their deep-gut alchemy these microbes create anti-inflammatory compounds that have been linked to the cardiovascular and other benefits from dark chocolate consumption. The findings were presented March 18 at the American Chemical Society meeting in Dallas. Other new research helps explain how some of cocoa's widespread health benefits—from improving vascular function to increasing insulin sensitivity—may be linked—and good for even the young and the healthy.

Previous research suggested that cocoa components could be fermented to generate beneficial compounds. Daily consumption of dark chocolate or cocoa lowered people's blood pressure an average of two to three points (millimeters of mercury), according to a 2012 review (pdf) of 20 different studies. So John Finley, a professor of food sciences at Louisiana State University, and his students took the work a step further to see what else the body might be getting from this common treat—and how.

To follow cocoa through its digestive journey, they created a lab-built gut of sorts. (And for this, you may want to put down your chocolate momentarily.) "It's a rather disgusting process," Finley apologizes.

Down the artificial gut
The first step approximates the upper human digestive tract. The pure cocoa powder gets a wash of enzymes to mimic the early digestive juices. "So we are left with materials that are nondigestible," Finley explains. These nondigestibles get fed to the lower-intestinal gut microbes. But where to find them? From willing students, of course. About nine people proffered their poo to be harvested for an amalgam of microbes to stand in for an average gut community (granted one, Finley says, "on a typically unhealthy grad student diet."). The microbes then feasted on what was left of the cocoa after its passage through the mock digestive system. They fermented these compounds—flavonols that include catechin and epicatechin, which are also found in green tea—into smaller anti-inflammatories that could be absorbed into the bloodstream.

This bodily process seems plausible from both a biological and chemical standpoint, says Telmo Pereira of the Department of Cardiopneumology at the Superior College of Health Technology in Portugal. The next step, of course, will be more testing and looking for this transformation in humans, he notes.

As Grace Farhat, a researcher in the department of dietetics, nutrition and biological sciences at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, points out, we can't be entirely sure that each person's gut will undertake the same fermentation processes. "The composition of bacterial flora will vary in different individuals," she says. "This will mean certain individuals [likely] derive more benefits than others."

These new findings, however, could help explain why dark chocolate improves vascular function and cardiovascular health in general. Other recent research has found that regular moderate consumption of dark chocolate confers benefits even on the young and healthy.

Pereira and colleagues found that healthy young adults (of a mean age of about 20) who ate eight grams—about one small square—of 70 percent cocoa chocolate each day for a month had "an obvious improvement" in vascular function over their baseline as well as a control group. Those eating the extra chocolate saw their arterial flow (measured by flow-mediated dilation) increasing, on average, from 14 percent to 23 percent. The findings (pdf) were published earlier this year in Cardiovascular System and could have substantial implications for health on a broader population scale. "If consuming dark chocolate in moderate quantities has the ability to decrease the risk of heart disease, it could have a role to play in reducing medical costs" as well, Farhat says.

Cocoa has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which Pereira points out could be a related mechanism—both getting a boost from the polyphenols, the antioxidants in cocoa. Research published earlier this year in Endocrine Abstracts showed that polyphenols in chocolate improved insulin sensitivity even in people who did not have diabetes. Adults consumed 20 grams of either polyphenol-rich or polyphenol-poor dark chocolate. Those with the extra polyphenol boost showed better insulin sensitivity after just a month. "The results imply that dark chocolate might delay or prevent the onset of diabetes and prediabetes," says Farhat, who led the work.

Of course, "chocolate is not a substitute for prescribed medications," Pereira notes. He suggests cocoa might work best for people who fall in the middle of the bell curve for cardiovascular health—something of a Goldilocks effect. "If you have a patient with severely compromised vascular function, you cannot expect benefits from chocolate," he says. And likewise, those who are already exceedingly healthy might not see much of a boost from extra cocoa. But both he and Finley suggest cocoa as a tool for helping in the effort to prevent some heart diseases. "Dark chocolate could well be a preventive nutritional supplement to consider," Pereira says. Or a preventative snack.

Biggest cocoa boost
Not all chocolate is created equal, however. Dark chocolate gets all the good publicity because it has relatively lower added sugar and fats than milk chocolate. "The benefits come from cocoa," Pereira notes—thus, "chocolates with the highest proportion of cocoa are better." Even when it comes to pure cocoa powder—which can be used for a hot beverage or added as a topping—no one knows the ideal amount. Even the darkest of the dark chocolates “must be consumed in moderation to avoid weight gain," he notes.

Finley and his team went straight for the pure, unsweetened cocoa powder to test its impact on gut microbes. Nevertheless, each type produced slightly different results. The researchers sent three types of cocoa powder down the lab-rigged digestive path: lightly processed, moderately processed and Dutch-processed. The more mildly treated the cocoa powder the more it produced beneficial compounds in these experiments. Farhat also noted that likewise some brands of dark chocolate "are low in polyphenols due to the methods of manufacturing."

With the high levels of polyphenols, cocoa might also be good for the gut itself; "It appears that if you were consuming some cocoas, it would actually stimulate the production of healthier microbes in the colon," Finley says. Additionally, the microbes broke down the undigested fiber in the cocoa, creating usable short-chained fatty acids, such as butyric, propionic and acetic acids. "The bottom line is that now I put cocoa powder on my oatmeal," Finley says.

Although his wife dismisses the nontraditional topping as a bit weird, Finley has science on his side for his breakfast combo: "The anti-inflammatory compounds combined with dietary fiber is a synergistic effect—one and one makes three" in this case, he says. And combining cocoa with additional sources of dietary fiber might boost the effect even more, as Finley suggests: "Maybe chocolate-covered black beans?"

Источник: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-is-dark-chocolate-good-for-you-thank-your-microbes/

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has gained a reputation for being a healthy option because cocoa beans, which chocolate is made from, contain plant chemicals called flavanols which are being investigated for their heart health benefits.

In reality, many of these flavanols are removed during the manufacturing process. This means chocolate does not contain enough of these plant chemicals to be considered a health food. Chocolate also contains fat and sugar, so portions need to be kept small. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some as part of a healthy diet.

The antioxidants in cocoa beans

Cocoa beans are rich in plant chemicals called flavonols. These are types of plant-based antioxidants called polyphenols.

Like all antioxidants, flavanols stop unstable molecules known as free radicals from damaging our cells. A lack of antioxidants in the diet can put you at a higher risk of heart disease, cancers, Type 2 diabetes and other long-term diseases, so it’s important to eat foods which contain antioxidants.

Studies looking into the flavanols in cocoa beans, particularly the flavanol epicatechin, have linked them to benefits for heart health such as making your blood vessels more elastic and lowering blood pressure.

Media articles about the benefits of dark chocolate focus mainly on the flavanols in cocoa beans and chocolate, but when the cocoa is processed into chocolate, many of the flavanols are removed.

Do small amounts of dark chocolate contain enough flavanols?

Chocolate is high in calories because of its sugar and fat content, so if you eat too much of it you could put on weight.

Studies have been carried out to find out whether small amounts of chocolate, eaten often, contain enough flavanols (specifically epicatechin) to have similar health benefits to cocoa.

A review of the evidence in 2016 suggested that a daily 20g portion of chocolate would need to contain at least 200mg of flavanols and 100mg of epicatechin to have a similar effect to cocoa. The processing methods used in the confectionary industry mean that 20g of chocolate does not contain this amount of flavanols so can’t be considered to have the same benefits as cocoa. 

Although it contains less than cocoa, dark chocolate does contain more flavanols than milk chocolate, while white chocolate contains no cocoa and no flavanols at all.

Flavanol content in dark, milk and white chocolate

The cocoa content of dark chocolate varies widely from 35% to 95%. In general, the higher the cocoa content the higher the flavanol content and the more bitter the flavour, although this is not always the case as the processing method also has an impact.

Manufacturers don’t include flavanol content on their labels so it is not possible to know the exact flavanol content, but to give a rough idea:  

  • 20g of dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids) contains 34mg of flavanols
  • 20g of milk chocolate contains 14mg of flavanols
  • 20g of white chocolate contains no flavanols.

How to eat enough flavanols

The best way to get the heart healthy benefits of flavanols, specifically epicatechin, is to eat plenty of plant foods which are high in these, including:  

  • berries
  • apples
  • pears
  • nuts
  • grapes
  • tea
  • green tea.

Better still, include the whole range of polyphenols in your diet by eating a variety of plant foods every day, including fruit and vegetables, pulses, wholegrains, herbs and spices.

Are there other nutritional benefits of dark chocolate?

Theobromine

Theobromine is a plant chemical found in cocoa and tea. It’s currently being researched for potential health benefits such as lowering blood pressure. However, as with flavanols, it appears that small portions of chocolate would not contain enough theobromine to get the benefits of cocoa.

Healthy fats – does dark chocolate raise cholesterol?

The type of fat present in dark chocolate has also been highlighted as healthy in the media.

Saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol (sometimes called bad cholesterol) in the blood so the advice is to swap saturated fat for the more heart-healthy mono or poly unsaturated fats which reduce LDL cholesterol. There is however a type of dietary saturated fat called stearic acid that has been found to have a neutral effect on blood cholesterol – it doesn’t raise it or lower it.

Dark chocolate contains some stearic acid and this has led to claims that chocolate does not raise blood cholesterol. Unfortunately, dark chocolate also contains saturated fats which do raise cholesterol.

How to enjoy chocolate as part of a healthy diet

Although it’s not a health food, you can still enjoy dark chocolate and other types of chocolate as part of a healthy diet. The trick is to eat chocolate in moderation, perhaps a couple of squares, rather than a whole bar.

This might not sound enough, but a recent study has found that if you eat mindfully and really concentrate on enjoying the taste and feel, you get more satisfaction from smaller portions.

If you struggle to stop at two squares, dark chocolate might be a good option – it has a richer flavour and does seem to leave you feeling more satisfied by smaller portions compared to milk and white chocolate which are sweeter.

Although there is a lot of press about dark chocolate being healthier than other types of chocolate, our advice is to choose small amounts of the chocolate you prefer as part of a healthy balanced diet.

 

Источник: https://www.heartuk.org.uk/

Dark chocolate health benefits: can cocoa improve your workouts and make you fitter?

There’s little that compares to a square of rich dark chocolate. Whether you go for a gentle 60% for an after dinner sweet kick or enjoy the bitter taste of a higher percentage, dark chocolate is a comforting treat for people who are in the mood for bolder flavours than that of milk or white chocolate. 

It’s not just the taste of dark chocolate that stands out. Unlike a bar of Dairy Milk, you’ll often hear people talking about the huge health benefits associated with eating a  bar of a higher percentage chocolate. From sleep to exercise, there’s regularly chat about why dark chocolate is, in fact, so good for you. 

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But how true are those claims, and is it something you should be eating every day? To find out how dark chocolate can help you and your fitness, we asked two expert nutritionists. 

Is dark chocolate good for you?

Most of the goodness in your dark chocolate bar can be traced back to one ingredient – cocoa. This is the reason that dark chocolate has a much better rep than other types of chocolate, according to nutritionist Jenna Hope. 

“Dark chocolate is higher in cocoa, which is the carrier for many of the benefits. The higher the cocoa content, the lower the sugar content, too. Dark chocolate typically ranges from 70% to 99% (in some cases even 100%!), so the higher the percentage, typically the lower the sugar and the more cocoa present in the chocolate,” says Jenna. 

So, the real question we should be asking is: what are the benefits of cocoa? “Flavanols, a plant nutrient with heart-protective benefits, are found in many foods but are abundant in raw cacao,” explains nutritionist Rohini Bajekal from Plant Based Health Professionals. 

These flavanols are known for their antioxidant properties “which means they limit free radicals in the body. Free radicals are a natural by-product of digestion, exercise and exposure to pollutants, but they contribute to cell damage,” explains Jenna. “Dark chocolate has also been associated with improved vascular function, reducing blood pressure and supporting heart health due to its polyphenol and theobromine content,” Jenna adds.

Sleep experts also herald dark chocolate for it’s ability to help with sleep. Keris Marsden, nutritional therapist, previously told Stylistthat “chocolate increases serotonin – serotonin helps you fall asleep at night,” and psychologist Hope Bastine eats dark chocolate as a source of tryptophan, an amino acid that regulates sleep.

How does dark chocolate help exercise?

A 2016 study by Kingston University found that 40g of dark chocolate a day improved athletic endurance of participants – that is how long they could effectively exercise for. The researchers suggested this is because of a type of flavanol in cacao called epicatechin that has been shown to increase nitric oxide production in the body.

“Cocoa is also rich in magnesium which, among it’s 600+ roles, plays a key role in muscle and nerve relaxation and energy production, and cocoa provides some calcium and iron too which are important for supporting bone health and transporting oxygen around the body,” adds Jenna. 

There is also some evidence to suggest that dark chocolate may help to support mitochondrial function and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation caused by exercise. “Mitochondria produce ATP (the body’s usable form of energy) and therefore dark chocolate may aid energy production,” explains Jenna. “Although, the evidence is mixed and more research is needed before we can conclusively suggest that dark chocolate may aid exercise performance and recovery.”

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When should you eat dark chocolate?

Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.

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Источник: https://www.stylist.co.uk/fitness-health/nutrition/dark-chocolate-benefits/507838

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate — Yes, Chocolate Can Be Good for You

Whenever an article floats around the Internet touting research that a “junk” food — whether it’s bacon or cheese or wine — is actually healthy, people go wild with excitement, regardless of the source or details. Unfortunately, those articles tend to be based on studies that do not include enough unbiased scientific evidence. But, since chocolate comes from a plant, you may be wondering if the rumored health benefits to one of nature’s yummiest desserts are actually true. Does dark chocolate actually have any health benefits?

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Does Dark Chocolate Have Health Benefits?

Good news for chocoholics! There are a slew of health benefits and nutrients you can get from eating dark chocolate — bearing in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa the chocolate contains, the more nutrients you will get. That said, you should know that eating a bar of chocolate is never the most efficient way to nourish your body, since chocolate bars are usually filled with sugar and fat — which are also what helps make them so yummy.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

For one thing, most dark chocolate bars do not include any animal products (though some do include milk fat, so always make sure to check ingredients). In those instances, eating dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate will make your treat a bit less unhealthy, since the dairy added to milk chocolate bars contains cholesterol, as well as mammalian hormones. So if you have high cholesterol, are looking to reduce your consumption of dairy, are considering a vegan lifestyle, or want a slightly healthier chocolate bar, always opt for dark chocolate.

Interestingly, dark chocolate contains a few key nutrients for our bodies. For example, a 100-gram bar of Lindt’s 85 percent cocoa extra chocolate contains about 15 grams of fiber, 12.5 grams of protein, and 62.5 percent of your daily value of iron — those are pretty significant amounts. Healthline noted that dark chocolate also contains magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. 

That said, eating an entire bar of extra dark chocolate is not the most direct way to up your intake of fiber, protein, and iron — that’s because the Lindt chocolate bar also contains 27.5 grams of saturated fat (thanks to cocoa butter and oil) and 12.5 grams of sugar (thanks to added sugar). If you need to increase your intake of those nutrients, more efficient sources are whole foods like beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. 

Dark chocolate can also be a significant source of antioxidants, meaning it can protect your nervous system and can also shield nerve cells from damage, according to Food Matters. In fact, dark chocolate often makes internet lists of foods that are high in antioxidants, along with berries and dark leafy greens.

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Is Dark Chocolate Good for You?

dark chocolate benefits

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Basically, while dark chocolate does include significant amounts of some nutrients, it is not a health food. But if you want an excuse to add as much chocolatey goodness to your diet as possible (and we don’t blame you), consider starting a romance with cocoa or cacao powder.

Healthiest Dark Chocolate — Cocoa and Cacao Powder

According to NutritionFacts.org, the best way to get dark chocolate’s benefits is by using cocoa powder or cacao powder. As explained by Food Matters, cacao powder comes from cold-pressed, raw cacao beans, with most of the cacao butter (fat) removed from the final product; while cocoa powder is roasted cacao and naturally a bit higher in fact. For example, one serving (2.5 tablespoons) of Navitas Organics Cacao Powder naturally contains 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of fat. 

There are so many meals and drinks you can easily add a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder to — not only will it increase the meal’s nutrition, but more importantly, it will also make it taste like chocolate! For example, you can easily add a spoonful of cocoa powder to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, coffee, or non-dairy milk (for instant chocolate milk or hot cocoa!). In case you’ve never used cocoa powder before, it tastes similar to dark chocolate but less sweet, so depending on what you’re adding cocoa powder to, you may want to sweeten things up with some maple syrup, agave, sugar, or fruit. 

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Is Dark Chocolate Good for High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol?

There is some evidence that dark chocolate can reduce your cholesterol, blood pressure, and subsequently your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, according to Food Matters.

Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate (as long as it’s dairy-free, which most dark chocolate bars are) is free of cholesterol, meaning it will not contribute to raising your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which is what causes arteries to clog. Once again, the “darker” the chocolate (the higher the cocoa percentage), the less "unhealthy" sugar and fat the bar will contain, and the healthier it will be. 

A 2017 study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association studied the effects of eating almonds combined with dark chocolate in a group of overweight adults over the course of four years. The study concluded that incorporating a combination of almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa into the standard American diet “may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”

Healthy Dark Chocolate Recipes

It can be beneficial to make your own dark chocolate bars from scratch — that way, you can control exactly how much of each ingredient you are consuming. Check out this five-ingredient recipe for chocolate bars from the Sweet Simple Vegan blog.

Additionally, the Minimalist Baker blog has a roundup of seven of its best recipes that use dark chocolate as a star ingredient. Are you drooling yet?

Fair-Trade Dark Chocolate

When shopping for dark chocolate, try your best to find fair-trade chocolate that is also palm oil-free, since many cocoa farms exploit and enslave workers — some farms even exploit child laborers. To combat that, the Food Empowerment Project has a detailed running list of many chocolate brands with fair-trade policies that the organization recommends. Additionally, any brand that is Fair Trade Certified will say so on the package, so look out for the little green logo when chocolate shopping.

Источник: https://www.greenmatters.com/p/dark-chocolate-health-benefits

Few among us can resist a sweet bite of chocolate. It’s not unusual to buy candy bars on an impulse at the grocery store. Chocolate is even part of our most special moments, from weddings and baby showers to holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

While you shouldn’t go overboard and eat chocolate all the time, there are some perks in allowing yourself the occasional indulgence. Finally – here’s your excuse to eat chocolate guilt-free!

Is Chocolate Good for You?

Is Chocolate Good for You?

Is Chocolate Good for You?

Science shows there are health benefits associated with eating dark chocolate. This treat can help you relax when you’re feeling anxious, improve your blood circulation, and boost the endorphins in your brain. It’s also thought of as being good for your heart.

According to Harvard Health, the more flavanols in the chocolate, the healthier it is for you to eat. Flavanols are natural compounds found in cacao plants and are particularly good for your circulatory system. They also provide important nutrients to your organs and tissues.

*DISCLAIMER: Quality Logo Products® is not a team of medical professionals. If you have any questions about the health benefits and effects of chocolate, be sure to talk to your doctor.

What is the Best Type of Chocolate for You?

What is the Best Type of Chocolate for You?

What is the Best Type of Chocolate for You?

Dark chocolate contains the highest percentage of flavanols, nutrients, and antioxidants, making it the “healthiest” type of chocolate.

You can get the following nutrients from eating dark chocolate:

  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Calcium

These nutrients help keep your muscles, nerves, and bones healthy. They also boost your immune system, which could mean less sick days in your future!

What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Chocolate?

You know that broccoli, apples, and chicken are good for your health, but you might be surprised to learn that dark chocolate has its perks, too. The following health benefits are associated with eating a moderate amount:

Lowers Blood Pressure

Lowers Blood Pressure

Research from Walden University’s School of Nursing found that blood pressure significantly decreased in participants who enjoyed eating dark chocolate. Low blood pressure is important as you get older, and a few bites of dark chocolate can keep you on the right track.

Improves Blood Circulation

Improves Blood Circulation

Think of your circulatory system as a series of highways carrying blood to your heart. This is important for many reasons. Not only does it keep your eyesight working well, but it also contributes to the health of your vital organs (heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, and spleen). The good news is you can improve your blood circulation simply by eating dark chocolate according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition Research.

Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

A study published in Clinical Nutrition found that people who eat dark chocolate more than five times a week reduce their risk for heart disease by 57%. The cacao beans act as antioxidants and are great sources of iron and zinc, keeping your heart nice and strong!

Eases Congestion

Eases Congestion

If you have a tickle in your throat, you might want to cook up some dark chocolate cocoa. This remedy can be just as effective as cough syrup, and arguably safer if it’s made with 100% natural ingredients.

Helps You Relax

Helps You Relax

Grab a helping of dark chocolate if you’re feeling at wit’s end! The Journal of Psychopharmacology published a study reporting that people who eat a lot of dark chocolate have greater feelings of calmness and contentedness. Not hungry? Another study by Essex University found that the smell of chocolate alone is enough to help you feel more at ease!

Sharpens Your Brain

Sharpens Your Brain

As we age, we want to keep our brains sharp. The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published a fascinating study proving that dark chocolate can help! 400 participants were put to the test and observed over a 2-year period. The result was that those who ate dark chocolate significantly lowered their risk of cognitive decline.

Stops Food Cravings

Stops Food Cravings

Are you trying to lose weight? A little bit of dark chocolate can go a long way! A neuroscientist named Will Clower wrote all about the power of dark chocolate. In his book, “Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight,” he notes that eating a piece of dark chocolate 20 minutes before and 5 minutes after a meal can cut your appetite by as much as 50%.

Protects Your Skin

Protects Your Skin

While you should still use sunscreen, a 2009 German study found that eating chocolate can protect your skin from the sun and keep it hydrated. The flavanols found in the cacao beans also reduce redness, which is great if you don’t want to look like a lobster in your beach photos!

Boosts Memory

Boosts Memory

Do you have difficulty paying attention? Try eating dark chocolate! Columbia University Medical Center found that people who drank hot chocolate before a memory test performed 25% better than those who didn’t drink any at all.

Recovers Your Muscles

Recovers Your Muscles

Keep that Gatorade in the fridge! The Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that chocolate milk is a great post-workout drink as it replenishes the carbohydrates in your muscles. It’s no wonder why Pepsi bought the Muscle Milk brand for $465 million!

Wakes You Up

Wakes You Up

It’s been a long day! Instead of filling up that mug with more coffee, reach for a little bit of dark chocolate. A study from Northern Arizona University tested the ability of chocolate to keep 120 subjects awake. After eating 60% cacao dark chocolate, the participants stayed up and were more alert than those who didn’t eat any chocolate. Just be careful how much you have around bedtime!

Why Does Chocolate Make You Happy?

Why Does Chocolate Make You Happy?

Why Does Chocolate Make You Happy?

You feel happy when you eat chocolate because serotonin and dopamine are increased in your brain. These chemicals are known to stabilize your mood and increase feelings of well-being and pleasure.

Chemical triggers aren’t the only thing going on in your brain when you eat chocolate! Harvard University found that this treat can trigger deeper memories or feelings and emotions.

When you take a bite of chocolate, you might call to mind that delicious ice cream you had at your 8th party, or maybe the chocolatey sweetness of your wedding cake. These are fond memories that contribute to your overall positive feeling when chowing down on chocolate treats!

How Much Chocolate a Day is Healthy?

How Much Chocolate a Day is Healthy?

How Much Chocolate a Day is Healthy?

Experts recommend eating no more than 1 to 2 ounces of dark chocolate every day. This is the best type of chocolate for your health, but you shouldn’t eat it all day, every day.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to completely avoid milk or white chocolate! Just do your best to eat these sweeter treats in moderation.

What Are Some Healthy Chocolate Snack Ideas?

Do you suddenly have a craving for chocolate? Reach for healthy chocolate snacks, or whip up a few nutritious recipes. You’ll ultimately have more energy and feel better about your choice to treat yourself!

Try any of these healthy chocolate recipes and snacks:

  • Dark chocolate candy bars
  • Fruit dipped in chocolate
  • Trail mix
  • Dark chocolate cocoa
  • Chocolate smoothie
  • Energy balls
  • Chocolate almonds
  • Greek yogurt
  • Dark chocolate granola bars
  • Chocolate chia pudding
  • Popcorn with dark chocolate
Dark Chocolate Candy Bars

Dark Chocolate Candy Bars

Dark chocolate candy bars are great if you’re looking for a snack. The higher the cacao percentage, the better the chocolate is for you. Shoot for a candy bar that contains at least 70% cacao, and don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting! Break off a piece of two, and you should be good to go!

Fruit Dipped in Chocolate

Fruit Dipped in Chocolate

Strawberries, bananas, apples, oranges, and other fruits can be dipped in dark chocolate. If you want a little bit of protein, you can also cover them in peanut butter. Keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy when you’re feeling hungry!

Trail Mix

Trail Mix

Create your own trail mix using almonds, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, and dried fruit. You can pour the trail mix into individual baggies or containers and have easy snacks to grab if you’re on the go!

Dark Chocolate Cocoa

Dark Chocolate Cocoa

Warm up a mug of dark chocolate hot cocoa. It’s not only a tasty snack, but it’s also a good pick-me-up on a winter’s day or when you’re feeling kind of “blah.”

Chocolate Smoothie

Chocolate Smoothie

Chocolate for breakfast? Yes please! Whip together a decadent chocolate smoothie by putting chocolate soy milk, cocoa powder, and 1 to 2 bananas into a blender. Store your drink in a shaker bottle, and get your day started on the right foot!

Energy Balls

Energy Balls

Roll peanut butter and melted dark chocolate in a bowl of granola. Let the balls refrigerate and enjoy! These are awesome, protein-filled snacks for you to have after an intense workout.

Chocolate Almonds

Chocolate Almonds

You can’t go wrong with chocolate covered almonds as a mid-afternoon snack! Try to find a brand that doesn’t use too much sugar, or better yet, make your own by melting pieces of dark chocolate, dipping in the almonds, and keeping them in the fridge.

Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

Mix crushed pieces of dark chocolate and maybe a few nuts and pieces of fruit in a cup of Greek yogurt. You’ll love the extra crunch and the tasty flavor. It will be just like having your favorite dessert, without the unnecessary calories!

Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

If you buy granola bars at the grocery store, be sure to look for organic options that do not use artificial ingredients. KIND bars and Annie’s are both excellent and won’t cost you too much money. You can also make your own granola bars from scratch using natural ingredients!

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Feed your sweet tooth by mixing almond milk, cocoa powder, and chia seeds to make a yummy pudding. You can even go the extra mile and top it with dark chocolate chunks. Mmm!

Popcorn With Dark Chocolate

Popcorn With Dark Chocolate

Get your fix of sweet and salty by breaking up pieces of dark chocolate and mixing it together with unbuttered popcorn. It’s the perfect snack for movie night!

Are you looking for even more ideas? Look up recipes online for healthier alternatives to all of your favorites like chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, brownies, and truffles. It just goes to show you can stay on track with your nutrition goals, all while still enjoying the occasional sweet treat!

Is Chocolate Bad for You?

For all the deliciousness and health benefits, there is also a downside to eating chocolate all the time. This may include:

  • Weight gain
  • Tooth decay
  • Headaches
  • Low bone density
  • Allergic reaction
  • Environmental impact
Weight gain

Weight gain

It’s possible to gain as many as 2 pounds per month from eating chocolate that’s rich in fats and sugars. Mayo Clinic in New York warns that being overweight increases your risk for diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, mental illness, and breast or colon cancer.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay

Sugar is no good for your teeth, and the average ounce of milk chocolate contains about 15 grams while white chocolate has about 17 grams per ounce. Be careful if you love either of the flavors as the added sugar can lead to unwanted cavities.

Headaches

Headaches

Dark chocolate contains caffeine, which means you could get a headache if you have too much. Other ingredients like tyramine, histamine, and phenylalanine may also cause migraines according to Medical News Daily.

Low Bone Density

Low Bone Density

Even though dark chocolate contains plenty of zinc and potassium, the jury is out as to whether or not it leads to healthy bones. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that older women who consumed a lot of chocolate had a lower bone density and strength.

Allergic reaction

Allergic reaction

65% of people are lactose intolerant and might not even know it. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), chocolate is one of the most common triggers of a reaction since you can’t always tell whether or not it is made with milk.

Environmental impact

Environmental impact

According to the World Wildlife Fund, illegal deforestation is a huge problem in the cacao farming industry. Trees are being cut down to increase the production of chocolate, and if that’s not bad enough, some farmers are being overworked and underpaid.

It pays to know both the advantages and disadvantages of eating chocolate. You always want to make the best choices when it comes to your health and wellness, and knowledge is power!

Can Chocolate Go Bad?

Can Chocolate Go Bad?

Can Chocolate Go Bad?

Chocolate doesn’t expire, but most of the time you will see a recommended “Sell By” date. According to BBC News, you can still eat chocolate past this date as long as it doesn’t smell unusual and hasn’t grown a white coating known as the “fat bloom.”

Overall, your biggest concern with chocolate comes from it becoming stale or melted. You can avoid both of these issues by keeping your treats in a sealed container in your pantry, or placing them directly in your refrigerator.

Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

Chocolate is bad for dogs because it contains theobromine, an ingredient that makes it difficult for your pooch to metabolize the treat. This can cause an upset stomach, rapid breathing, or in the worst cases, seizures.

If your pet has consumed chocolate, reach out to your vet immediately. They will give you a proper diagnosis and let you know which treatments, if any, are necessary.

Is Chocolate Healthy or Unhealthy?

Is Chocolate Healthy or Unhealthy?

Is Chocolate Healthy or Unhealthy?

Now that you know more about chocolate, the question remains – is chocolate healthy?

Some sources praise the benefits of dark chocolate, while others warn that you should proceed with caution. Research is still being done on both sides.

The best advice is to eat all types of chocolate, even dark chocolate, in moderation. Even the healthiest foods in excess can be bad for you, and it’s never a good idea to overindulge. You’re the expert of your own health, so do what works best for you!

Stats for Success

Stats for Success

44% of people feel guilty about eating chocolate.

Stats for Success

A study published by the American Medical Association found that people who are depressed eat 55% more chocolate than those who are not suffering from depression.

Stats for Success

57% of people prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate.

The Bottom Line

In 2020, 45% of people made it their New Year’s resolution to improve their diet. One way to do that is by making sure you’re eating the right foods, and dark chocolate may just belong on that list. While it may not be wise to eat it all the time, a little bite here and there can go a long way!

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Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute. More articles by Alyssa Mertes

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What percentage of dark chocolate is good for you -

4 proven benefits of dark chocolate and the best way to eat it

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  • Dark chocolate can benefit your brain and heart health, reduce inflammation, and combat oxidative stress in the body.
  • The flavonoids in dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and cholesterol while reducing your risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart disease. 
  • To achieve these health benefits, you should eat dark chocolate with 80% cacao. 
  • This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.
  • Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.

From a young age, we're told to not eat too many sweets, including chocolate. However, dark chocolate, especially if it has a high percentage of cacao, can actually be good for you. This type of chocolate presents a variety of health perks that can benefit your heart, brain, and overall health.

Here's why eating dark chocolate may be good for you.

Dark chocolate can be beneficial for heart health

Related
Dark chocolate can be good for your heart, in moderation

The reason dark chocolate is beneficial for heart health is that it contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that come from plants.

Flavonoids may have the following heart health benefits: 

  • Lower blood pressure: The mechanisms are not fully known how dark chocolate and its flavonoids lower blood pressure. "It may simply be that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory parts, as well as the blood-thinning and blood-vessel relaxing properties of these chemicals, are what's responsible for lowering blood pressure," says Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and professor at the Fielding School of Public Health. 
  • Lower cholesterol: Flavonoids may increase levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which is known as "good cholesterol," and improve their function. HDL cholesterol absorbs LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein), which is "bad cholesterol," and in turn, lowers cholesterol levels in your body. 
  • Prevent blood clots: Flavonoids in dark chocolate have been found to affect blood platelets positively. A 2007 study showed that platelets in modest chocolate eaters' blood were less likely to clot than non-chocolate eaters. The researchers concluded that these anti-clotting effects may be responsible for chocolate's positive effects on cardiovascular health.
  • Prevent stroke: Dark chocolate may reduce stroke risk due to this ability to lower blood pressure, since high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke. Additionally, since it relaxes blood vessels, this can also lower the risk of stroke, Hunnes says.
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease: A 2017 meta-analysis looked at five studies that examined the relationship between chocolate consumption and risk of heart disease. The analysis found that across the five studies, there was a decreased risk of heart disease associated with moderate chocolate consumption. 

Dark chocolate can improve brain health

Due to the cardiovascular benefits mentioned above, Hunnes says flavonoids can help increase blood flow to the brain. As a byproduct of this, you will get more oxygen to your brain and move toxins out of the brain more quickly. This protects your brain and can help prevent neurodegenerative conditions, like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

A small 2018 study stated that flavonoids can cross the blood-brain barrier and have a positive effect on electrical brain activity, which can improve attention and memory. In this study, the participants consumed 6.8 grams of dark chocolate to reap these benefits. 

Hunnes says the increased blood flow may be the mechanism by which dark chocolate is believed to improve memory, and therefore, eating small amounts of dark chocolate each day can have a beneficial effect on overall cognition. 

Dark chocolate may help reduce inflammation

According to Hunnes, consuming dark chocolate is a natural way to reduce inflammation in your body. That's because the antioxidants in dark chocolate — particularly flavonoids and polyphenols — have anti-inflammatory properties. 

Related
What is an anti-inflammatory diet and its benefits for heart health

Consuming anti-inflammatory foods provides overall health benefits, such as preventing future chronic diseases like heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

In fact, Hunnes says reducing inflammation can help protect the following organs: 

  • Heart 
  • Lungs
  • Liver 
  • Brain 

Dark chocolate reduces oxidative stress in the body

Both flavonoids and polyphenols — antioxidants present in dark chocolate — can also combat the damage of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are natural byproducts of life that may also be caused by pollution or ultraviolet radiation. They can cause damage to our cells' DNA and result in oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic disease.  

Because dark chocolate has an extremely high polyphenol content, it may help you reduce oxidative stress and combat free radicals. Here's how dark chocolate stacks up to other antioxidant-rich foods in terms of polyphenol content: 

  • Dark chocolate: 1664mg per 100g
  • Milk chocolate: 236mg per 100g
  • Strawberries: 235mg per 100g
  • Coffee: 214mg per 100mL
  • Ginger: 202mg per 100g
  • Red wine: 101mg per 100mL

The best way to consume dark chocolate

When choosing which type of dark chocolate to eat, a higher percentage of cacao is best. "The more cacao, the more healthy nutrients, the less sugar, and the less other potentially negative ingredients," Hunnes says.

In particular, 80% cacao is the minimum that Hunnes recommends for achieving health benefits. Hunnes says that you can have up to 20 to 30 grams per day of 80% dark chocolate, though if it's a lower percentage, you may want to eat a smaller amount each day. 

To make your dark chocolate intake even healthier, she also suggests choosing non-dairy versions or trying cacao nibs, which are roasted cacao beans. Hunnes also advises limiting your consumption of less healthy sweets, like milk chocolate or white chocolate, as they contain higher amounts of sugar and fat. 

The bottom line

Consuming dark chocolate in moderation is a low-risk, delicious way to improve your overall health and help ward off health problems like stroke, high blood pressure, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Just remember to opt for the highest percentage of cacao for the healthiest option. 

Related articles from Health Reference:

More:Health ExplainersHealthNutritionChocolate
Источник: https://www.insider.com/dark-chocolate-benefits

Dark chocolate health benefits: can cocoa improve your workouts and make you fitter?

There’s little that compares to a square of rich dark chocolate. Whether you go for a gentle 60% for an after dinner sweet kick or enjoy the bitter taste of a higher percentage, dark chocolate is a comforting treat for people who are in the mood for bolder flavours than that of milk or white chocolate. 

It’s not just the taste of dark chocolate that stands out. Unlike a bar of Dairy Milk, you’ll often hear people talking about the huge health benefits associated with eating a  bar of a higher percentage chocolate. From sleep to exercise, there’s regularly chat about why dark chocolate is, in fact, so good for you. 

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Stop feeling guilty for snacking: why having an afternoon sweet snack is actually good for you

But how true are those claims, and is it something you should be eating every day? To find out how dark chocolate can help you and your fitness, we asked two expert nutritionists. 

Is dark chocolate good for you?

Most of the goodness in your dark chocolate bar can be traced back to one ingredient – cocoa. This is the reason that dark chocolate has a much better rep than other types of chocolate, according to nutritionist Jenna Hope. 

“Dark chocolate is higher in cocoa, which is the carrier for many of the benefits. The higher the cocoa content, the lower the sugar content, too. Dark chocolate typically ranges from 70% to 99% (in some cases even 100%!), so the higher the percentage, typically the lower the sugar and the more cocoa present in the chocolate,” says Jenna. 

So, the real question we should be asking is: what are the benefits of cocoa? “Flavanols, a plant nutrient with heart-protective benefits, are found in many foods but are abundant in raw cacao,” explains nutritionist Rohini Bajekal from Plant Based Health Professionals. 

These flavanols are known for their antioxidant properties “which means they limit free radicals in the body. Free radicals are a natural by-product of digestion, exercise and exposure to pollutants, but they contribute to cell damage,” explains Jenna. “Dark chocolate has also been associated with improved vascular function, reducing blood pressure and supporting heart health due to its polyphenol and theobromine content,” Jenna adds.

Sleep experts also herald dark chocolate for it’s ability to help with sleep. Keris Marsden, nutritional therapist, previously told Stylistthat “chocolate increases serotonin – serotonin helps you fall asleep at night,” and psychologist Hope Bastine eats dark chocolate as a source of tryptophan, an amino acid that regulates sleep.

How does dark chocolate help exercise?

A 2016 study by Kingston University found that 40g of dark chocolate a day improved athletic endurance of participants – that is how long they could effectively exercise for. The researchers suggested this is because of a type of flavanol in cacao called epicatechin that has been shown to increase nitric oxide production in the body.

“Cocoa is also rich in magnesium which, among it’s 600+ roles, plays a key role in muscle and nerve relaxation and energy production, and cocoa provides some calcium and iron too which are important for supporting bone health and transporting oxygen around the body,” adds Jenna. 

There is also some evidence to suggest that dark chocolate may help to support mitochondrial function and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation caused by exercise. “Mitochondria produce ATP (the body’s usable form of energy) and therefore dark chocolate may aid energy production,” explains Jenna. “Although, the evidence is mixed and more research is needed before we can conclusively suggest that dark chocolate may aid exercise performance and recovery.”

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When should you eat dark chocolate?

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Источник: https://www.stylist.co.uk/fitness-health/nutrition/dark-chocolate-benefits/507838

How Much Dark Chocolate Should You Eat to Live Longer?

If you love dark chocolate, you’re probably well aware of research that suggests it has important health benefits, mostly through improving heart health. It's a bonus to justify your chocolate addiction in the name of longevity. Learn what the experts say and what daily dose of chocolate is the most healthy.

The Flavanol Factor

The greatest benefit from chocolate comes with the highest concentration of cocoa, which contains flavanols, a form of flavonoid. Flavanols act as antioxidants, mopping up damaging free radicals that are produced during cell metabolism. They can also reduce resistance to insulin and make blood vessels more elastic, reducing blood pressure. Since flavanols can be destroyed through processing, some researchers recommend eating less-processed chocolate and have advocated labeling cocoa products indicating flavanol levels.

How Much Chocolate to Lengthen Life

Eating chocolate may have advantages, but it brings up the question of how much is beneficial and what the limit is before overindulgence cancels the positive effects. Suggestions for a concrete number of grams or ounces are hard to come by. A study of nearly 20,000 people, followed over a period of eight years, concluded that those who ate an average of 6 grams (0.2 ounces) of chocolate per day had a 39 percent lower risk of heart attack or stroke. That’s a very small amount of chocolate, perhaps only half a single square of a typical 100-gram dark chocolate bar. Interestingly, this study included both dark and milk chocolate.

How Often Should You Eat Chocolate

Other studies have looked primarily at how often you eat chocolate, rather than the amount you consume. A 2011 research review involving a total of about 114,000 subjects in Europe, Asia, and North America, found a 37 percent lower risk in developing cardiovascular disease, a 31 percent reduction in risk of diabetes, and 29 percent reduction in risk of stroke, among subjects who ate chocolate the most often (more than twice a week). This review, from the University of Cambridge, included chocolate from all sources, including chocolate bars, drinks, and snacks, and did not distinguish between dark or milk chocolate.​​

Not Too Much, Not Too Often Is Just Right

Despite the beneficial effect of different sources of chocolate in their study, the Cambridge researchers warn against consuming too much of this energy-dense food. More recent studies have found no effect among those who eat chocolate and those who don't on both mental and physical quality of life markers.

It seems a little chocolate goes a long way in helping you to live longer. With some research saying it really doesn't matter, eat the amount of chocolate that works for you. Don't eat more calories than you can burn and don't replace other healthy plant-based foods with chocolate. Enjoy just enough to fill the need for something sweet and satisfying so that it doesn't interfere with your healthy eating habits.

Thanks for your feedback!

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Katz DL, Doughty K, Ali A. Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2011;15(10):2779–2811. doi:10.1089/ars.2010.3697

  2. Miller KB, Hurst WJ, Payne MJ. Impact of Alkalization on the Antioxidant and Flavanol Content of Commercial Cocoa Powders. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2008;56(18):8527-8533. doi:10.1021/jf801670p

  3. Petyaev IM, Bashmakov YK. Dark Chocolate: Opportunity for an Alliance between Medical Science and the Food Industry?. Front Nutr. 2017;4:43. Published 2017 Sep 26. doi:10.3389/fnut.2017.00043

  4. Buijsse B, Weikert C, Drogan D, Bergmann M, Boeing H. Chocolate consumption in relation to blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease in German adults. European Heart Journal. 2010;31(13):1616-1623. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehq068

  5. Buitrago-Lopez A, Sanderson J, Johnson L. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. Bmj. 2011;343(aug26 1):d4488-d4488. doi:10.1136/bmj.d4488

  6. Balboa-Castillo T, López-García E, León-Muñoz LM. Chocolate and Health-Related Quality of Life: A Prospective Study. Plos One. 2015;10(4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0123161

Additional Reading
  • Claims About Cocoa. US National Institutes of Health Information Sheet. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2011/08/claims-about-cocoa.

  • Buitrago-Lopez A, et al. Chocolate Consumption and Cardiometabolic Disorders. BMJ 2011;343:d4488.

Источник: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-much-dark-chocolate-should-i-eat-to-live-longer-2223572

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has gained a reputation for being a healthy option because cocoa beans, which chocolate is made from, contain plant chemicals called flavanols which are being investigated for their heart health benefits.

In reality, many of these flavanols are removed during the manufacturing process. This means chocolate does not contain enough of these plant chemicals to be considered a health food. Chocolate also contains fat and sugar, so portions need to be kept small. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some as part of a healthy diet.

The antioxidants in cocoa beans

Cocoa beans are rich in plant chemicals called flavonols. These are types of plant-based antioxidants called polyphenols.

Like all antioxidants, flavanols stop unstable molecules known as free radicals from damaging our cells. A lack of antioxidants in the diet can put you at a higher risk of heart disease, cancers, Type 2 diabetes and other long-term diseases, so it’s important to eat foods which contain antioxidants.

Studies looking into the flavanols in cocoa beans, particularly the flavanol epicatechin, have linked them to benefits for heart health such as making your blood vessels more elastic and lowering blood pressure.

Media articles about the benefits of dark chocolate focus mainly on the flavanols in cocoa beans and chocolate, but when the cocoa is processed into chocolate, many of the flavanols are removed.

Do small amounts of dark chocolate contain enough flavanols?

Chocolate is high in calories because of its sugar and fat content, so if you eat too much of it you could put on weight.

Studies have been carried out to find out whether small amounts of chocolate, eaten often, contain enough flavanols (specifically epicatechin) to have similar health benefits to cocoa.

A review of the evidence in 2016 suggested that a daily 20g portion of chocolate would need to contain at least 200mg of flavanols and 100mg of epicatechin to have a similar effect to cocoa. The processing methods used in the confectionary industry mean that 20g of chocolate does not contain this amount of flavanols so can’t be considered to have the same benefits as cocoa. 

Although it contains less than cocoa, dark chocolate does contain more flavanols than milk chocolate, while white chocolate contains no cocoa and no flavanols at all.

Flavanol content in dark, milk and white chocolate

The cocoa content of dark chocolate varies widely from 35% to 95%. In general, the higher the cocoa content the higher the flavanol content and the more bitter the flavour, although this is not always the case as the processing method also has an impact.

Manufacturers don’t include flavanol content on their labels so it is not possible to know the exact flavanol content, but to give a rough idea:  

  • 20g of dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids) contains 34mg of flavanols
  • 20g of milk chocolate contains 14mg of flavanols
  • 20g of white chocolate contains no flavanols.

How to eat enough flavanols

The best way to get the heart healthy benefits of flavanols, specifically epicatechin, is to eat plenty of plant foods which are high in these, including:  

  • berries
  • apples
  • pears
  • nuts
  • grapes
  • tea
  • green tea.

Better still, include the whole range of polyphenols in your diet by eating a variety of plant foods every day, including fruit and vegetables, pulses, wholegrains, herbs and spices.

Are there other nutritional benefits of dark chocolate?

Theobromine

Theobromine is a plant chemical found in cocoa and tea. It’s currently being researched for potential health benefits such as lowering blood pressure. However, as with flavanols, it appears that small portions of chocolate would not contain enough theobromine to get the benefits of cocoa.

Healthy fats – does dark chocolate raise cholesterol?

The type of fat present in dark chocolate has also been highlighted as healthy in the media.

Saturated fat raises LDL cholesterol (sometimes called bad cholesterol) in the blood so the advice is to swap saturated fat for the more heart-healthy mono or poly unsaturated fats which reduce LDL cholesterol. There is however a type of dietary saturated fat called stearic acid that has been found to have a neutral effect on blood cholesterol – it doesn’t raise it or lower it.

Dark chocolate contains some stearic acid and this has led to claims that chocolate does not raise blood cholesterol. Unfortunately, dark chocolate also contains saturated fats which do raise cholesterol.

How to enjoy chocolate as part of a healthy diet

Although it’s not a health food, you can still enjoy dark chocolate and other types of chocolate as part of a healthy diet. The trick is to eat chocolate in moderation, perhaps a couple of squares, rather than a whole bar.

This might not sound enough, but a recent study has found that if you eat mindfully and really concentrate on enjoying the taste and feel, you get more satisfaction from smaller portions.

If you struggle to stop at two squares, dark chocolate might be a good option – it has a richer flavour and does seem to leave you feeling more satisfied by smaller portions compared to milk and white chocolate which are sweeter.

Although there is a lot of press about dark chocolate being healthier than other types of chocolate, our advice is to choose small amounts of the chocolate you prefer as part of a healthy balanced diet.

 

Источник: https://www.heartuk.org.uk/

I've recently received several questions about nutrition data in general, and sugar content in particular. Brief information about these topics is now on my FAQs page, and I want to offer answers here on the blog as well.

Let's focus on sugar content because that's what most of you have asked about. It's simple to figure out for any dark chocolate, and you don't need nutrition facts to do it. Here's the first step:

100 - CACAO PERCENTAGE = ADDED SUGAR PERCENTAGE

The cacao percentage is usually easy to find. Nearly all quality chocolate (including mine) will print it right on the packaging:

The percentage is prominently displayed on most quality chocolate bars because it is a key indicator of flavor--namely, of the sweetness level. Lower percentages are sweeter, and higher percentages are less sweet.

Once you have the added sugar percentage figured out, it's easy to calculate exactly how many grams/ounces of sugar are in a given amount of chocolate. Here's that step:

ADDED SUGAR PERCENTAGE x CHOCOLATE MASS = ADDED SUGAR MASS

An example always helps. Let's say you have a 1oz (28g) bar of "75% dark chocolate." Just from the label, you know the cacao percentage is 75%. Using the first formula, we can subtract 75% from 100% to find that 25% of the chocolate is added sugar. Using the second formula, we can take 25% of 1oz. That's easy: .25oz, or about 7g. Cacao itself contains a negligible amount of sugar, so you're done. And now you know there's about 7g of sugar in a 1oz bar of 75% dark chocolate.

What about a 100% bar? Even easier. 100% - 100% = 0% added sugar. No added sugar! That's one reason why 100% bars are increasingly popular. If you're trying to avoid any kind of added sugar but still want chocolate, they can be a great option.


You may be wondering: if it's so easy to calculate sugar content, why don't more craft chocolate makers put it on their bars? A major factor is that once product packaging includes claims about nutrient content, the full nutrition facts panel is required to back them up.

Turns out the laboratory analysis behind nutrition facts is cost prohibitive for most small food manufacturers. On top of that, nutrition facts are usually not the first things craft chocolate customers are curious about. It all adds up to most makers, myself included, avoiding the expense. (For the record, nutrition facts are not required on products with fewer than 100,000 unit sales per year, unless the packaging makes health- or nutrient-related claims).

featured-bar-trio-ghana-rizek-belize-2oz-backs.png

As is common in craft chocolate, my packaging highlights flavor, story, and ingredients rather than nutrition facts.

However, if you are interested in standard nutrition facts data for dark chocolate, it's quickly found. My top suggestion is to do a google search for "dark chocolate [insert your cacao percentage] nutrition facts." Sugar content should be consistent across brands. Fat content will vary somewhat by brand, but you'll get a good estimate.

Of course, you can also look at the nutrition facts on chocolate from companies that do print them on their packaging.

Keep in mind: nutrition facts describe macronutrients (fats, sugars, proteins) and major vitamins and minerals. They won't tell you much about micronutrients--the hundreds of naturally occurring plant chemicals in chocolate and unrefined cane sugar--or about growing and processing methods, all of which affect the integrity of our food. Let your individual dietary concerns and food philosophy be your guides when deciding what information to focus on.

Источник: https://wmchocolate.com/chocolate-makers-blog/how-to-find-the-sugar-content-of-dark-chocolate-without-nutrition-facts/

Why Is Dark Chocolate Good for You? Thank Your Microbes

Dark chocolate might pack a double positive punch for our health—thanks to the microbes that live in our gut. New research suggests that beneficial bacteria that reside toward the end of our digestive tract ferment both the antioxidants and the fiber in cocoa.

In their deep-gut alchemy these microbes create anti-inflammatory compounds that have been linked to the cardiovascular and other benefits from dark chocolate consumption. The findings were presented March 18 at the American Chemical Society meeting in Dallas. Other new research helps explain how some of cocoa's widespread health benefits—from improving vascular function to increasing insulin sensitivity—may be linked—and good for even the young and the healthy.

Previous research suggested that cocoa components could be fermented to generate beneficial compounds. Daily consumption of dark chocolate or cocoa lowered people's blood pressure an average of two to three points (millimeters of mercury), according to a 2012 review (pdf) of 20 different studies. So John Finley, a professor of food sciences at Louisiana State University, and his students took the work a step further to see what else the body might be getting from this common treat—and how.

To follow cocoa through its digestive journey, they created a lab-built gut of sorts. (And for this, you may want to put down your chocolate momentarily.) "It's a rather disgusting process," Finley apologizes.

Down the artificial gut
The first step approximates the upper human digestive tract. The pure cocoa powder gets a wash of enzymes to mimic the early digestive juices. "So we are left with materials that are nondigestible," Finley explains. These nondigestibles get fed to the lower-intestinal gut microbes. But where to find them? From willing students, of course. About nine people proffered their poo to be harvested for an amalgam of microbes to stand in for an average gut community (granted one, Finley says, "on a typically unhealthy grad student diet."). The microbes then feasted on what was left of the cocoa after its passage through the mock digestive system. They fermented these compounds—flavonols that include catechin and epicatechin, which are also found in green tea—into smaller anti-inflammatories that could be absorbed into the bloodstream.

This bodily process seems plausible from both a biological and chemical standpoint, says Telmo Pereira of the Department of Cardiopneumology at the Superior College of Health Technology in Portugal. The next step, of course, will be more testing and looking for this transformation in humans, he notes.

As Grace Farhat, a researcher in the department of dietetics, nutrition and biological sciences at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, points out, we can't be entirely sure that each person's gut will undertake the same fermentation processes. "The composition of bacterial flora will vary in different individuals," she says. "This will mean certain individuals [likely] derive more benefits than others."

These new findings, however, could help explain why dark chocolate improves vascular function and cardiovascular health in general. Other recent research has found that regular moderate consumption of dark chocolate confers benefits even on the young and healthy.

Pereira and colleagues found that healthy young adults (of a mean age of about 20) who ate eight grams—about one small square—of 70 percent cocoa chocolate each day for a month had "an obvious improvement" in vascular function over their baseline as well as a control group. Those eating the extra chocolate saw their arterial flow (measured by flow-mediated dilation) increasing, on average, from 14 percent to 23 percent. The findings (pdf) were published earlier this year in Cardiovascular System and could have substantial implications for health on a broader population scale. "If consuming dark chocolate in moderate quantities has the ability to decrease the risk of heart disease, it could have a role to play in reducing medical costs" as well, Farhat says.

Cocoa has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which Pereira points out could be a related mechanism—both getting a boost from the polyphenols, the antioxidants in cocoa. Research published earlier this year in Endocrine Abstracts showed that polyphenols in chocolate improved insulin sensitivity even in people who did not have diabetes. Adults consumed 20 grams of either polyphenol-rich or polyphenol-poor dark chocolate. Those with the extra polyphenol boost showed better insulin sensitivity after just a month. "The results imply that dark chocolate might delay or prevent the onset of diabetes and prediabetes," says Farhat, who led the work.

Of course, "chocolate is not a substitute for prescribed medications," Pereira notes. He suggests cocoa might work best for people who fall in the middle of the bell curve for cardiovascular health—something of a Goldilocks effect. "If you have a patient with severely compromised vascular function, you cannot expect benefits from chocolate," he says. And likewise, those who are already exceedingly healthy might not see much of a boost from extra cocoa. But both he and Finley suggest cocoa as a tool for helping in the effort to prevent some heart diseases. "Dark chocolate could well be a preventive nutritional supplement to consider," Pereira says. Or a preventative snack.

Biggest cocoa boost
Not all chocolate is created equal, however. Dark chocolate gets all the good publicity because it has relatively lower added sugar and fats than milk chocolate. "The benefits come from cocoa," Pereira notes—thus, "chocolates with the highest proportion of cocoa are better." Even when it comes to pure cocoa powder—which can be used for a hot beverage or added as a topping—no one knows the ideal amount. Even the darkest of the dark chocolates “must be consumed in moderation to avoid weight gain," he notes.

Finley and his team went straight for the pure, unsweetened cocoa powder to test its impact on gut microbes. Nevertheless, each type produced slightly different results. The researchers sent three types of cocoa powder down the lab-rigged digestive path: lightly processed, moderately processed and Dutch-processed. The more mildly treated the cocoa powder the more it produced beneficial compounds in these experiments. Farhat also noted that likewise some brands of dark chocolate "are low in polyphenols due to the methods of manufacturing."

With the high levels of polyphenols, cocoa might also be good for the gut itself; "It appears that if you were consuming some cocoas, it would actually stimulate the production of healthier microbes in the colon," Finley says. Additionally, the microbes broke down the undigested fiber in the cocoa, creating usable short-chained fatty acids, such as butyric, propionic and acetic acids. "The bottom line is that now I put cocoa powder on my oatmeal," Finley says.

Although his wife dismisses the nontraditional topping as a bit weird, Finley has science on his side for his breakfast combo: "The anti-inflammatory compounds combined with dietary fiber is a synergistic effect—one and one makes three" in this case, he says. And combining cocoa with additional sources of dietary fiber might boost the effect even more, as Finley suggests: "Maybe chocolate-covered black beans?"

Источник: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-is-dark-chocolate-good-for-you-thank-your-microbes/

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate — Yes, Chocolate Can Be Good for You

Whenever an article floats around the Internet touting research that a “junk” food — whether it’s bacon or cheese or wine — is actually healthy, people go wild with excitement, regardless of the source or details. Unfortunately, those articles tend to be based on studies that do not include enough unbiased scientific evidence. But, since chocolate comes from a plant, you may be wondering if the rumored health benefits to one of nature’s yummiest desserts are actually true. Does dark chocolate actually have any health benefits?

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Does Dark Chocolate Have Health Benefits?

Good news for chocoholics! There are a slew of health benefits and nutrients you can get from eating dark chocolate — bearing in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa the chocolate contains, the more nutrients you will get. That said, you should know that eating a bar of chocolate is never the most efficient way to nourish your body, since chocolate bars are usually filled with sugar and fat — which are also what helps make them so yummy.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

For one thing, most dark chocolate bars do not include any animal products (though some do include milk fat, so always make sure to check ingredients). In those instances, eating dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate will make your treat a bit less unhealthy, since the dairy added to milk chocolate bars contains cholesterol, as well as mammalian hormones. So if you have high cholesterol, are looking to reduce your consumption of dairy, are considering a vegan lifestyle, or want a slightly healthier chocolate bar, always opt for dark chocolate.

Interestingly, dark chocolate contains a few key nutrients for our bodies. For example, a 100-gram bar of Lindt’s 85 percent cocoa extra chocolate contains about 15 grams of fiber, 12.5 grams of protein, and 62.5 percent of your daily value of iron — those are pretty significant amounts. Healthline noted that dark chocolate also contains magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. 

That said, eating an entire bar of extra dark chocolate is not the most direct way to up your intake of fiber, protein, and iron — that’s because the Lindt chocolate bar also contains 27.5 grams of saturated fat (thanks to cocoa butter and oil) and 12.5 grams of sugar (thanks to added sugar). If you need to increase your intake of those nutrients, more efficient sources are whole foods like beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. 

Dark chocolate can also be a significant source of antioxidants, meaning it can protect your nervous system and can also shield nerve cells from damage, according to Food Matters. In fact, dark chocolate often makes internet lists of foods that are high in antioxidants, along with berries and dark leafy greens.

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Is Dark Chocolate Good for You?

dark chocolate benefits

Source: istock

Basically, while dark chocolate does include significant amounts of some nutrients, it is not a health food. But if you want an excuse to add as much chocolatey goodness to your diet as possible (and we don’t blame you), consider starting a romance with cocoa or cacao powder.

Healthiest Dark Chocolate — Cocoa and Cacao Powder

According to NutritionFacts.org, the best way to get dark chocolate’s benefits is by using cocoa powder or cacao powder. As explained by Food Matters, cacao powder comes from cold-pressed, raw cacao beans, with most of the cacao butter (fat) removed from the final product; while cocoa powder is roasted cacao and naturally a bit higher in fact. For example, one serving (2.5 tablespoons) of Navitas Organics Cacao Powder naturally contains 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of fat. 

There are so many meals and drinks you can easily add a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder to — not only will it increase the meal’s nutrition, but more importantly, it will also make it taste like chocolate! For example, you can easily add a spoonful of cocoa powder to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, coffee, or non-dairy milk (for instant chocolate milk or hot cocoa!). In case you’ve never used cocoa powder before, it tastes similar to dark chocolate but less sweet, so depending on what you’re adding cocoa powder to, you may want to sweeten things up with some maple syrup, agave, sugar, or fruit. 

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Is Dark Chocolate Good for High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol?

There is some evidence that dark chocolate can reduce your cholesterol, blood pressure, and subsequently your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, according to Food Matters.

Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate (as long as it’s dairy-free, which most dark chocolate bars are) is free of cholesterol, meaning it will not contribute to raising your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which is what causes arteries to clog. Once again, the “darker” the chocolate (the higher the cocoa percentage), the less "unhealthy" sugar and fat the bar will contain, and the healthier it will be. 

A 2017 study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association studied the effects of eating almonds combined with dark chocolate in a group of overweight adults over the course of four years. The study concluded that incorporating a combination of almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa into the standard American diet “may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”

Healthy Dark Chocolate Recipes

It can be beneficial to make your own dark chocolate bars from scratch — that way, you can control exactly how much of each ingredient you are consuming. Check out this five-ingredient recipe for chocolate bars from the Sweet Simple Vegan blog.

Additionally, the Minimalist Baker blog has a roundup of seven of its best recipes that use dark chocolate as a star ingredient. Are you drooling yet?

Fair-Trade Dark Chocolate

When shopping for dark chocolate, try your best to find fair-trade chocolate that is also palm oil-free, since many cocoa farms exploit and enslave workers — some farms even exploit child laborers. To combat that, the Food Empowerment Project has a detailed running list of many chocolate brands with fair-trade policies that the organization recommends. Additionally, any brand that is Fair Trade Certified will say so on the package, so look out for the little green logo when chocolate shopping.

Источник: https://www.greenmatters.com/p/dark-chocolate-health-benefits

I've recently received several questions about nutrition data in general, and sugar content in particular. Brief information about these topics is now on my FAQs page, and I want to offer answers here on the blog as well.

Let's focus on sugar content because that's what most of you have asked about. It's simple to figure out for any dark chocolate, and you don't need nutrition facts to do it. Here's the first step:

100 - CACAO PERCENTAGE = Usaa vs navy federal savings account SUGAR PERCENTAGE

The cacao percentage is usually easy to find. Nearly all quality chocolate (including mine) will print it right on the packaging:

The percentage is prominently displayed on most quality chocolate bars because it is a key indicator of flavor--namely, of the sweetness level. Lower percentages are sweeter, and higher percentages are less sweet.

Once you have the added sugar percentage figured out, it's easy to calculate exactly how many grams/ounces of sugar are in a given amount of chocolate. Here's that step:

ADDED SUGAR PERCENTAGE x CHOCOLATE MASS = ADDED SUGAR MASS

An example always helps. Let's say you have a 1oz (28g) bar of "75% dark chocolate." Just from the label, you know the cacao percentage is 75%. Using the first formula, we can subtract 75% from 100% to find that 25% of the chocolate is added sugar. Using the second formula, we can take 25% of 1oz. That's easy: .25oz, or about 7g. Cacao itself contains a negligible amount of sugar, so you're done. And now you know there's about 7g of sugar in a 1oz bar of 75% dark chocolate.

What about a 100% bar? Even easier. 100% - 100% = 0% added sugar. No added sugar! That's one reason why 100% bars are increasingly popular. If you're trying to avoid any kind of added sugar but still want chocolate, they can be a great option.


You may be wondering: if it's so easy to calculate sugar content, why don't more craft chocolate makers put it on their bars? A major factor is that once product packaging includes claims about nutrient content, the full nutrition facts panel is required to back them up.

Turns out the laboratory analysis behind nutrition facts is cost prohibitive for most small food manufacturers. On top of that, nutrition facts are usually not the first things craft chocolate customers are curious about. It all adds up to most makers, myself included, avoiding the expense. (For the record, nutrition facts are not required on products with fewer than 100,000 unit sales per year, unless the packaging makes health- or nutrient-related claims).

featured-bar-trio-ghana-rizek-belize-2oz-backs.png

As is common in craft chocolate, my packaging highlights flavor, story, and ingredients rather than nutrition facts.

However, if you are interested in standard nutrition facts data for dark chocolate, it's quickly found. My top suggestion is to do a google search for "dark chocolate [insert your cacao percentage] nutrition facts." Sugar content should be consistent across brands. Fat content will vary somewhat by brand, but you'll get a good estimate.

Of course, you can also look at the nutrition facts on chocolate from companies that do print them on their packaging.

Keep in mind: nutrition facts describe macronutrients (fats, sugars, proteins) and major vitamins and minerals. They won't tell you much about micronutrients--the hundreds of naturally occurring plant chemicals in chocolate and unrefined cane sugar--or about growing and processing methods, all of which affect the integrity of our food. Let your individual dietary concerns and food philosophy be your guides when deciding what information to focus on.

Источник: https://wmchocolate.com/chocolate-makers-blog/how-to-find-the-sugar-content-of-dark-chocolate-without-nutrition-facts/

Dark chocolate health benefits: can cocoa improve your workouts and make you fitter?

There’s little that compares to a square of rich dark chocolate. Whether you go for a gentle 60% for an after dinner sweet kick or enjoy the bitter taste of a higher percentage, dark chocolate is a comforting treat for people who are in the mood for bolder flavours than that of milk or white chocolate. 

It’s not just the taste of dark chocolate that stands out. Unlike a bar of Dairy Milk, you’ll often hear people talking about the huge health benefits associated with eating a  bar of a higher percentage chocolate. From sleep to exercise, there’s regularly chat about why dark chocolate is, in fact, so good for you. 

You may also like

Stop feeling guilty for snacking: why having an afternoon sweet snack is actually good for you

But how true are those claims, and is it something you should be eating every day? To find out how dark chocolate can help you and your fitness, we asked two expert nutritionists. 

Is dark chocolate good for you?

Most of the goodness in your dark chocolate bar can be traced back to one ingredient – cocoa. This is the reason that dark chocolate has a much better rep than other types of chocolate, according to nutritionist Jenna Hope. 

“Dark chocolate is higher in cocoa, which is the carrier for many of the benefits. The higher the cocoa content, the lower the sugar content, too. Dark chocolate typically ranges from 70% to 99% (in some cases even 100%!), so the higher the percentage, typically the lower the sugar and the more cocoa present in the chocolate,” says Jenna. 

So, the real question we should be asking is: what are the benefits of cocoa? “Flavanols, a plant nutrient with heart-protective benefits, are found in many foods but are abundant in raw cacao,” explains nutritionist Rohini Bajekal from Plant Based Health Professionals. 

These flavanols are known for their antioxidant properties “which means they limit free radicals in the body. Free radicals are a natural by-product of digestion, exercise and exposure to pollutants, but they contribute to cell damage,” explains Jenna. “Dark chocolate has also been associated with improved vascular function, reducing blood pressure and supporting heart health due to its polyphenol and theobromine content,” Jenna adds.

Sleep experts also herald dark chocolate for it’s ability to help with sleep. Keris Marsden, nutritional therapist, previously told Stylistthat “chocolate increases serotonin – serotonin helps you fall asleep at night,” and psychologist Hope Bastine eats dark chocolate as a source of tryptophan, an amino acid that regulates sleep.

How does dark chocolate help exercise?

A 2016 study by Kingston University found that 40g of dark chocolate a day improved athletic endurance of participants – that is how long they could effectively exercise for. The researchers suggested this is because of a type of flavanol in cacao called epicatechin that has been shown to increase nitric oxide production in the body.

“Cocoa is also rich in magnesium which, among it’s 600+ roles, plays a key role in muscle and nerve relaxation and energy production, and cocoa provides some calcium and iron too which are important for supporting bone health and transporting oxygen around the body,” adds Jenna. 

There is also some evidence to suggest that dark chocolate may help to support mitochondrial function and naval map of future america oxidative stress and inflammation caused by exercise. “Mitochondria produce ATP (the body’s usable form of energy) and therefore dark chocolate may aid energy production,” explains Jenna. “Although, the evidence is mixed and more research is needed before we can conclusively suggest that dark chocolate may aid exercise performance and recovery.”

You may also like

The best pre-workout snacks to boost your energy levels before a class or gym session

When should you eat dark chocolate?

Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.

Images: Getty

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Источник: https://www.stylist.co.uk/fitness-health/nutrition/dark-chocolate-benefits/507838

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate — Yes, Chocolate Can Be Good for You

Whenever an article floats around the Internet touting research that a “junk” food — whether it’s convert apple store gift card to itunes or cheese or wine — is actually healthy, people go wild with excitement, regardless of the source or details. Unfortunately, those articles tend to be based on studies that do not include enough unbiased scientific evidence. But, since chocolate comes from a plant, you may be wondering if the rumored health benefits to one of nature’s yummiest desserts are actually true. Does dark chocolate actually have any health benefits?

Article continues below advertisement

Does Dark Chocolate Have Health Benefits?

Good news for chocoholics! There are a slew of health benefits and nutrients you can get from eating dark chocolate — bearing in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa the chocolate contains, the more nutrients you will get. That said, you should know that eating a bar of chocolate is never the most efficient way to nourish your body, since chocolate bars are usually filled with sugar and fat — which are also what helps make them so yummy.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

For one thing, most dark chocolate bars do not include any animal products (though some do include milk fat, so always make sure to check ingredients). In those instances, eating dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate will make your treat a bit less unhealthy, since the dairy added to milk chocolate bars contains cholesterol, as well as mammalian hormones. So if you have high cholesterol, are looking to reduce your consumption of dairy, are considering a vegan lifestyle, or want a slightly healthier chocolate bar, always opt for dark chocolate.

Interestingly, dark chocolate contains a few key nutrients for our bodies. For example, a 100-gram bar of Lindt’s 85 percent cocoa extra chocolate contains about 15 grams of fiber, 12.5 grams of protein, and 62.5 percent of your daily value of iron — those are pretty significant amounts. Healthline noted that dark chocolate also contains magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. 

That said, eating an entire bar of extra dark chocolate is not the most direct way to up your intake of fiber, protein, and iron — that’s because the Lindt chocolate bar also contains 27.5 grams of saturated fat (thanks to cocoa butter and oil) and 12.5 grams of sugar (thanks to added sugar). If you need to increase your intake of those nutrients, more efficient sources are whole foods like beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. 

Dark chocolate can also be a significant source of antioxidants, meaning it can protect your nervous system and can also shield nerve cells from damage, according to Food Matters. In fact, dark chocolate often makes internet lists of foods that are high in antioxidants, along with berries and dark leafy greens.

Article continues below advertisement

Is Dark Chocolate Good for You?

dark chocolate benefits

Source: istock

Basically, while dark chocolate does include significant amounts of some nutrients, it is not a health food. But if you want an excuse to add as much chocolatey goodness to your diet as possible (and we don’t blame you), consider starting a romance with cocoa or cacao powder.

Healthiest Dark Chocolate — Cocoa and Cacao Powder

According to NutritionFacts.org, the best way to get dark chocolate’s benefits is by using cocoa powder or cacao powder. As explained by Food Matters, cacao powder comes from cold-pressed, raw cacao beans, with most of the cacao butter (fat) removed from the final product; while cocoa powder is roasted cacao and naturally a bit higher in fact. For example, one serving (2.5 tablespoons) of Navitas Organics Cacao Powder naturally contains 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of fat. 

There are so many meals and drinks you can easily add a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder to — not only will it increase the meal’s nutrition, but more importantly, it will also make it taste like chocolate! For example, you can easily add a spoonful of cocoa powder to oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, coffee, or non-dairy milk (for instant chocolate milk or hot cocoa!). In case you’ve never used cocoa what percentage of dark chocolate is good for you before, it tastes similar to dark chocolate but less sweet, so depending what percentage of dark chocolate is good for you what you’re adding cocoa powder to, you may want to sweeten things up with some maple syrup, agave, sugar, or fruit. 

Article continues below advertisement

Is Dark Chocolate Good for High Blood Pressure members 1st customer service hours High Cholesterol?

There is some evidence that dark chocolate can reduce your cholesterol, blood pressure, and subsequently your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, according to Food Matters.

Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate (as long as it’s dairy-free, which most dark chocolate bars are) is free of cholesterol, meaning it will not contribute to raising your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which is what causes arteries to clog. Once again, the “darker” the chocolate (the higher the cocoa percentage), the less "unhealthy" sugar and fat the bar will contain, and the healthier it will be. 

A 2017 study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association studied the effects of eating almonds combined with dark chocolate in a group of overweight adults over the course of four years. The study concluded that incorporating a combination of almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa into the standard American diet “may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.”

Healthy Dark Chocolate Recipes

It can be beneficial to make your own dark chocolate bars from scratch — that way, you can control exactly how much of each ingredient you are consuming. Check out this five-ingredient recipe for chocolate bars from the Sweet Simple Vegan blog.

Additionally, the Minimalist Baker blog has a roundup of seven of its best recipes that use dark chocolate as a star ingredient. Are you drooling yet?

Fair-Trade Dark Chocolate

When shopping for dark chocolate, try your best to find fair-trade chocolate that is also palm oil-free, since many cocoa farms exploit and enslave workers — some farms even exploit child laborers. To combat that, pnc bank lobby hours Food Empowerment Project has a detailed running list of many chocolate brands with fair-trade policies that the organization recommends. Additionally, any brand that is Fair Trade Certified will say so on the package, so look out for the little green logo when chocolate shopping.

Источник: https://www.greenmatters.com/p/dark-chocolate-health-benefits

Is dark chocolate good for you? Health benefits of dark chocolate explained

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

  • We already know that foods filled with refined sugar aren’t particularly healthy but is dark chocolate good for you?

    Typically, dark chocolate contains less sugar and is often seen as a healthier chocolate bar and better alternative to the more sugary milk or white chocolate.

    Darker varieties of chocolate have a greater percentage of cocoa in them, with anything from 70-90% cocoa solids considered ‘dark’. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, contains a lower percentage of cocoa, starting from around 23% cocoa solids.

    So are there actual health benefits of dark chocolate? Or is it just a better pick if you’re trying to stick to a low sugar diet?

    Is dark chocolate good for you? 

    Dark chocolate provides a pretty impressive array of health benefits, so yes it could be considered ‘good for you’ and a healthy snack. If eaten in moderation of course!

    When choosing your dark chocolate, it’s important to pick one that contains high levels of cocoa. The higher the cocoa level, the more health benefits you’ll receive.

    Dietician Claire Muszalski explains that dark chocolate is only good for you when you choose the right kind and don’t eat too much:

    ‘A commonly recommended serving size for dark chocolate is 30 grams, or a little more than one ounce. This portion contains approximately 170 calories, 2 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrate, and 13 grams of fat, although this varies by brand.’

    Bars of dark chocolate stacked

    Be wary of portion size. (Credit: Getty)

    Health benefits of dark chocolate 

    • Filled with antioxidants
    • Helps boost energy, without the caffeine jitters
    • Good source of iron
    • Boost ‘feel good’ hormones
    • Provides bone boosting phosphorus
    • Contains magnesium for healthy muscle and nerve function
    • Could help reduce the risk of heart attack
    • May have a positive impact on cholesterol levels
    • Improves performance and alertness
    • Can help ease period cramps and PMS symptoms
    • Could help slow the affects ageing in the skin

    ‘The health benefits from dark chocolate originate from the plant compounds in the cocoa plant from which chocolate is made,’ explains Claire, who is also the resident dietician at Myprotein.

    ‘There are many studies that examine the effect of the antioxidant flavonoids found in dark chocolate. These flavonoids include catechins, procyanidins, and theobromine.’

    Due to the high level of antioxidants in catechins, they help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits including reducing the formation of free radicals, which plays a role in the ageing of skin cells.

    ‘Research is being done at the moment to look at the health benefit of these compounds. As they are generally found in many fruit and veg, we know it lowers the risk of nutrition and age-related problems.’

    Cocoa beans and cocoa powder

    The more cocoa, the better. (Credit: Getty)

    Cocoa has more antioxidants than most other foods on the planet, so it’s certainly going to help boost health.

    Consultant nutritionist Rob Hobson explains that these antioxidant compounds have been shown to help reduce the risk of disease: “The polyphenols in cocoa are thought to dilate the arteries, which improves elasticity and may reduce the risk of heart attack.”

    In fact, a study by Cambridge University found that both men and women who had the highest levels of cocoa in their diet, were 37% less likely to suffer with coronary heart disease and 29% less likely to experience a stroke compared to those with the lowest intakes.

    Studies have also shown how these polyphenols contribute to a reduction in bad cholesterol, and an increase in good cholesterol.

    Plant compounds in cocoa also help to improve blood flow, by relaxing the blood vessels. This in turn helps to improve blood pressure. Interestingly, research done by Adelaide University found that drinking flavanol-rich cocoa lowered blood pressure when compared to a flavanol-free placebo drink.

    Studies have shown that drinking cocoa at least five days each week boosts blood flow to areas of the brain that help with cognition. This in turn could help with alertness and performance.

    ‘Studies of older people that are mentally impaired have found that those who regularly drank cocoa had greater improvements in memory and verbal reasoning than those who did not. It’s for this reason that cocoa has been of interest to what percentage of dark chocolate is good for you investigating dementia,’ says Rob Hobson.

    Rob, who is also the author of The Detox Kitchen Bible, also explains that cocoa also contains a compound called theobromine, which acts as a stimulant similar to caffeine but without the jittery side-effects.

    ‘You will also find phenethylamine (PEA) in cocoa; a compound that helps boost our ‘feel good’ hormones serotonin and dopamine. Plus, PEA could cause our brain to act in the same way as when it does when we’re in love.’ It could mean dark chocolate could be dubbed as an aphrodisiac.

    As well as iron and bone boosting phosphorus and magnesium, dark chocolate contains potassium, zinc and copper too. Both are essential for health.

    Potassium helps boost heart health, whilst zinc helps to make new cells and enzymes in the body. Regions bank locations what percentage of dark chocolate is good for you contributes to wound healing. Copper meanwhile works with iron, and helps to produce red and white blood cells in the body.

    Dark chocolate and mug

    Dark chocolate can be healthy. (Credit: Getty)

    What is the healthiest dark chocolate?

    The healthiest dark chocolate is usually the one with the highest percentage of coca.

    Eating at least 70% dark chocolate limits the amount of added sugars and fats – but if you’re looking for the healthiest bars, aim for 90%.

    ‘Check the labels when deciding the healthiest option for you – cocoa and cocoa butter should be the primary ingredients. The ingredient list will reveal any added sugars, fats, milk, or artificial sweeteners – in case you want to avoid any of these,’ says Claire.

    Best dark chocolate to eat if you’re on a diet

    These all made the shortlist of the best dark chocolate to eat if you’re on a diet thanks to their high cocoa content. Just remember to only eat the portion size recommended on the packaging. Several of them also provide other benefits, such as being allergen-free.

    1. Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate 90% Cocoa
    2. Green and Black’s Organic Dark 85%
    3. Montezuma’s 100% Cocoa Absolute Black
    4. Divine Chocolate Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange
    5. Hotel Chocolat The Serious Dark Fix H-Box
    6. Hotel Chocolat 85% Dark Chocolate Batons
    7. PLAYin CHOC Single Origin Peruvian Dark 70% JustChoc
    8. Kind Dark Chocolate Orange Almond

    Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate 90% Cocoa

    Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate 90% Cocoa

    Per 100g:

    • 592 calories
    • 55g of fat
    • 14g of carbs
    • 10g of protein

    ‘Not only is this option high in the healthy cocoa content, they are widely available and easy to find at most grocery stores,’ says Claire.

    Green and Black’s Organic Dark 85%

    Green and Black's Organic Dark 85%

    Made with Madagascan vanilla

    Per 18g serving:

    • 109 calories
    • 8.9g of fat
    • 4.2g of carbs
    • 1.9g of protein

    Made with Madagascan vanilla to help take the edge off the bitter flavour, this pick contains 85% cocoa, is very smooth and is suitable for vegetarians.

    Montezuma’s 100% Cocoa Absolute Black

    Montezuma's 100% Cocoa Absolute Black

    Suitable for vegans

    Per 100g serving:

    • 601 cals
    • 54g fat
    • 8g carbs
    • 13g protein

    Dietician Juliette Kellow explains that this choice is completely vegan. Plus, it contains the most cocoa you can get in dark chocolate, so you’ll reap plenty of health benefits. That’s if you can stand the taste of 100% dark.

    Divine Chocolate Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange

    Divine Fairtrade 70% Dark Chocolate with Ginger & Orange

    No artificial ingredients

    Per 100g:

    • 568 cals
    • 41.8 fat
    • 36.7g carbs
    • 6.2g protein

    Reap the dark chocolate benefits as well as getting a spicy ginger kick! With no artificial ingredients or palm oil, this choice is also suitable for vegans.

    Hotel Chocolat Serious Dark Fix H-Box

    Hotel Chocolat Serious Dark Fix H-Box

    Contains pralines, caramels and truffles

    Per 100g:

    • 553 calories
    • 41.3g fat
    • 32.1g carbs
    • 7.9g protein

    This box contains 14 delicious chocolates. Hotel Chocolat say that eating 100g of dark chocolate every day for three months can counteract symptoms of sleep deprivation.

    Hotel Chocolat 85% Dark Chocolate Batons

    Per 100g:

    • 626 cals
    • 51g fat
    • 22g carbs
    • 9.4g protein

    Great for nibbling, a 50g portion of these also contains an impressive 9.5g of fibre to keep your digestive system happy.

    PLAYin CHOC Single Origin Peruvian Dark 70% JustChoc 

    PLAYin CHOC Single Origin Peruvian Dark 70% JustChoc 

    Free from dairy, nuts and gluten

    Per 10g serving:

    • 62 cals
    • 5.1g fat
    • 2.9g carbs
    • 0.7g protein

    Perfectly portioned squares that keep the sweet tooth satisfied. These are made using just cacao, coconut and vanilla, so they’re vegan, natural and organic.

    Kind Dark Chocolate Orange Almond

    Per serving:

    • 216 calories

    • 15g fat

    • 12g carbs

    • 5.6g protein

    Filled with healthy fats from nuts, this bar contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and offers the chocolate kick without overdoing the calories.

    What is the best dark chocolate for keto dieters? 

    • Low carb count
    • Choose unsweetened or those made with no no-calorie sweeteners
    • Ensure cocoa content is 70% or more
    • Watch your portion and try to stick to around 28g.

    You might not think you can eat chocolate on a keto diet, however, you can.

    ‘Any dark chocolate with a low carbohydrate count is best for keto dieters,’ says Claire.

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    That’s because a ketogenic diet is a super low carb diet, that aims to get the body in a state of ketogenesis, where it’s burning fat for fuel instead of sugar. Claire adds that when buying chocolate suitable for a keto diet, it’s best to choose one that’s unsweetened or contains a no-calorie sweetener. Examples of keto-friendly dark chocolate include Montezuma’s 100% Cocoa Absolute Black (see above).

    Источник: https://www.goodto.com/wellbeing/health/is-dark-chocolate-good-for-you-health-benefits-576674

    Few among us can resist a sweet bite of chocolate. It’s not unusual to buy candy bars on an impulse at the grocery store. Chocolate is even part of our most special moments, from weddings and baby showers to holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

    While you shouldn’t go overboard and eat chocolate all the time, there are some perks in allowing yourself the occasional indulgence. Finally – here’s your excuse to eat chocolate guilt-free!

    Is Chocolate Good for You?

    Is Chocolate Good for You?

    Is Chocolate Good for You?

    Science shows there are health benefits associated with eating dark chocolate. This treat can help you relax when you’re feeling anxious, improve your blood circulation, and boost the endorphins in your brain. It’s also thought of as being good for your heart.

    According to Harvard Health, the more flavanols in the chocolate, the healthier it is for you to eat. Flavanols are natural compounds found in cacao plants and are particularly good for your circulatory system. They also provide important nutrients to your organs and tissues.

    *DISCLAIMER: Quality Logo Products® is not a team of medical professionals. If you have any questions about the health benefits and effects of chocolate, be sure to talk to your doctor.

    What is the Best Type of Chocolate for You?

    What is the Best Type of Chocolate for You?

    What is the Best Type of Chocolate for You?

    Dark chocolate contains the highest percentage of flavanols, nutrients, and antioxidants, making it the “healthiest” type of chocolate.

    You can get the following nutrients from eating dark chocolate:

    • Zinc
    • Magnesium
    • Iron
    • Phosphorus
    • Potassium
    • Calcium

    These nutrients help keep your muscles, nerves, and bones healthy. They also boost your immune system, which could mean less sick days in your future!

    What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Chocolate?

    You know that broccoli, apples, and chicken are good for your health, but you might be surprised to learn that dark chocolate has its perks, too. The following health benefits are associated with eating a moderate amount:

    Lowers Blood Pressure

    Lowers Blood Pressure

    Research from Walden University’s School of Nursing found that blood pressure significantly decreased in participants who enjoyed eating dark chocolate. Low blood pressure is important as you get older, and a few bites of dark chocolate can keep you on the right track.

    Improves Blood Circulation

    Improves Blood Circulation

    Think of your circulatory system as a series of highways carrying blood to your heart. This is important for many reasons. Not only does it keep your eyesight working well, but it also contributes to the health of your vital organs (heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, and spleen). The good news is you can improve your blood circulation simply by eating dark chocolate according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition Research.

    Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

    Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

    A study published in Clinical Nutrition found that people who eat dark chocolate more than five times a week reduce their risk for heart disease by 57%. The cacao beans act as antioxidants and are great sources of iron and zinc, keeping your heart nice and strong!

    Eases Congestion

    Eases Congestion

    If you have a tickle in your throat, you might want to cook up some dark chocolate cocoa. This remedy can be just as effective as cough syrup, and arguably safer if it’s tarrant county college calendar with 100% natural ingredients.

    Helps You Relax

    Helps You Relax

    Grab a helping of dark chocolate if you’re feeling at wit’s end! The Journal of Psychopharmacology published a study reporting that people who eat a lot of dark chocolate have greater feelings of calmness and contentedness. Not hungry? Another study by Essex University found that the smell of chocolate alone is enough to help you feel more at ease!

    Sharpens Your Brain

    Sharpens Your Brain

    As we age, we want to keep our brains sharp. The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease published a fascinating study proving that dark chocolate can help! 400 participants were put to the test and observed over a 2-year period. The result was that those who ate dark chocolate significantly lowered their risk of cognitive decline.

    Stops Food Cravings

    Stops Food Cravings

    Are you trying to lose weight? A little bit of dark chocolate can go a long way! A neuroscientist named Will Clower wrote all about the power of dark chocolate. In his book, “Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight,” he notes that eating a piece of dark chocolate 20 minutes before and 5 minutes after a meal can cut your appetite by as much as 50%.

    Protects Your Skin

    Protects Your Skin

    While you should still use sunscreen, a 2009 German study found that eating chocolate can protect your skin from the sun and keep it hydrated. The flavanols found in the cacao beans also reduce redness, which is great if you don’t want to look like a lobster in your beach photos!

    Boosts Memory

    Boosts Memory

    Do you have difficulty paying attention? Try eating dark chocolate! Columbia University Medical Center found that people who drank hot chocolate before a memory test performed 25% better than those who didn’t drink any at all.

    Recovers Your Muscles

    Recovers Your Muscles

    Keep that Gatorade in the fridge! The Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that chocolate milk is a great post-workout drink as it replenishes the carbohydrates in your muscles. It’s no wonder why Pepsi bought the Muscle Milk brand for $465 million!

    Wakes You Up

    Wakes You Up

    It’s been a long day! Instead of filling up that mug with more coffee, reach for a little bit of dark chocolate. A study from Northern Arizona University tested the ability of chocolate to keep 120 subjects awake. After eating 60% cacao dark chocolate, the participants stayed up and were more alert than those who didn’t eat any chocolate. Just be careful how much you have around bedtime!

    Why Does Chocolate Make You Happy?

    Why Does Chocolate Make You Happy?

    Why Does Chocolate Make You Happy?

    You feel happy when you eat chocolate because serotonin and dopamine are increased in your brain. These chemicals are known to stabilize your mood and increase feelings of well-being and pleasure.

    Chemical triggers aren’t the only thing going on in your brain when you eat chocolate! Harvard University found that this treat can trigger deeper memories or feelings and emotions.

    When you take a bite of chocolate, you might call to mind that delicious ice cream you had at your 8th party, or maybe the chocolatey sweetness of your wedding cake. These are fond memories that contribute to your overall positive feeling when chowing down on chocolate treats!

    How Much Chocolate a Day is Healthy?

    How Much Chocolate a Day is Healthy?

    How Much Chocolate a Day is Healthy?

    Experts recommend eating no more than 1 to 2 ounces of dark chocolate every day. This is the best type of chocolate for your health, but you shouldn’t eat it all day, every day.

    Keep in mind, you don’t have to completely avoid milk or white chocolate! Just closing discover bank savings account your best to eat these sweeter treats in moderation.

    What Are Some Healthy Chocolate Snack Ideas?

    Do you suddenly what percentage of dark chocolate is good for you a craving for chocolate? Reach for healthy chocolate snacks, or whip up a few nutritious recipes. You’ll ultimately have more energy and feel better about your choice to treat yourself!

    Try any of these healthy chocolate recipes and snacks:

    • Dark chocolate candy bars
    • Fruit dipped in chocolate
    • Trail mix
    • Dark chocolate cocoa
    • Chocolate smoothie
    • Energy balls
    • Chocolate almonds
    • Greek yogurt
    • Dark chocolate granola bars
    • Chocolate chia pudding
    • Popcorn with dark chocolate
    Dark Chocolate Candy Bars

    Dark Chocolate Candy Bars

    Dark chocolate candy bars are great if you’re looking for a snack. The higher the cacao percentage, the better the chocolate is for you. Shoot for a candy bar that contains at least 70% cacao, and don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting! Break off a piece of two, and you should be good to go!

    Fruit Dipped in Chocolate

    Fruit Dipped in Chocolate

    Strawberries, bananas, apples, oranges, and other fruits can be dipped in dark chocolate. If you want a little bit of protein, you can also cover them in peanut butter. Keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy when you’re feeling hungry!

    Trail Mix

    Trail Mix

    Create your own trail mix using almonds, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, and dried fruit. You can pour the trail mix into individual baggies or containers and have easy snacks to grab if you’re on the go!

    Dark Chocolate Cocoa

    Dark Chocolate Cocoa

    Warm up a mug of dark chocolate hot cocoa. It’s not only a tasty snack, but it’s also a good pick-me-up on a winter’s day or when you’re feeling kind of “blah.”

    Chocolate Smoothie

    Chocolate Smoothie

    Chocolate for breakfast? Yes please! Whip together a decadent chocolate smoothie by putting chocolate soy milk, cocoa powder, and 1 to 2 bananas into a blender. Store your drink in a shaker bottle, and get your day started on the right foot!

    Energy Balls

    Energy Balls

    Roll peanut butter and melted dark chocolate in a bowl of granola. Let the balls refrigerate and enjoy! These are awesome, protein-filled snacks for you to have after an intense workout.

    Chocolate Almonds

    Chocolate Almonds

    You can’t go wrong with chocolate covered almonds as a mid-afternoon snack! Try to find a brand that doesn’t use too much sugar, or better yet, make your own by melting pieces of dark chocolate, dipping in the almonds, and keeping them in the fridge.

    Greek Yogurt

    Greek Yogurt

    Mix crushed pieces of dark chocolate and maybe a few nuts and pieces of fruit in a cup of Greek yogurt. Does capital one give automatic credit increases love the extra crunch and the tasty flavor. It will be just like having your favorite dessert, without the unnecessary calories!

    Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

    Dark Chocolate Granola Bars

    If you buy granola bars at the grocery store, be sure to look for organic options that do not use artificial ingredients. KIND bars and Annie’s are both excellent and won’t cost you too much money. You can also make your own granola bars from scratch using natural ingredients!

    Chocolate Chia Pudding

    Chocolate Chia Pudding

    Feed your sweet tooth by mixing almond milk, cocoa powder, and chia seeds to make a yummy pudding. You can even go the extra mile and top it with dark chocolate chunks. Mmm!

    Popcorn With Dark Chocolate

    Popcorn With Dark Chocolate

    Get your fix of sweet and salty by breaking up pieces of dark chocolate and mixing it together with unbuttered popcorn. It’s the perfect snack for movie night!

    Are you looking for even more ideas? Look up recipes online for healthier alternatives to all of your favorites like chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, brownies, and truffles. It just goes to show you can stay on track with your nutrition goals, all while still enjoying the occasional sweet treat!

    Is Chocolate Bad for You?

    For all the deliciousness and health benefits, there is also a downside to eating chocolate all the time. This may include:

    • Weight gain
    • Tooth decay
    • Headaches
    • Low bone density
    • Allergic reaction
    • Environmental impact
    Weight gain

    Weight gain

    It’s possible to gain as many as 2 pounds per month from eating chocolate that’s rich in fats and sugars. Mayo Clinic in New York warns that being overweight increases your risk for diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, mental illness, and breast or colon cancer.

    Tooth decay

    Tooth decay

    Sugar is no good for your teeth, and the average ounce of milk chocolate contains about 15 grams while white chocolate has about 17 grams per ounce. Be careful if you love either of the flavors as the added sugar can lead to unwanted cavities.

    Headaches

    Headaches

    Dark chocolate contains caffeine, which means you could get a headache if you have too much. Other ingredients like tyramine, histamine, and phenylalanine may also cause migraines according to Medical News Daily.

    Low Bone Density

    Low Bone Density

    Even though dark chocolate contains plenty of zinc and potassium, the jury is out as to whether or not it leads to healthy bones. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that older women who consumed a lot of chocolate had a lower bone density and strength.

    Allergic reaction

    Allergic reaction

    65% of people are lactose intolerant and might not even know it. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), chocolate is one of the most common triggers of a reaction since you can’t always tell whether or not it is made with milk.

    Environmental impact

    Environmental impact

    According to the World Wildlife Fund, illegal deforestation is a huge problem in the cacao farming industry. Trees are being cut down to increase the production of chocolate, and if that’s not bad enough, some farmers are being overworked and underpaid.

    It pays to know both the advantages and disadvantages of eating chocolate. You always want to make the best choices when it comes to your health and wellness, and knowledge is power!

    Can Chocolate Go Bad?

    Can Chocolate Go Bad?

    Can Chocolate Go Bad?

    Chocolate doesn’t expire, but most of h and m baby time you will see a recommended “Sell By” date. According to BBC News, you can still eat chocolate past this date as long as it doesn’t smell unusual and hasn’t grown a white coating known as the “fat bloom.”

    Overall, your biggest concern with chocolate comes from it becoming stale or melted. You can avoid both of these issues by keeping your treats in a sealed container in your pantry, or placing them directly in your refrigerator.

    Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

    Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

    Why is Chocolate Bad for Dogs?

    Chocolate is bad for dogs because it contains theobromine, an ingredient that makes it difficult for your pooch to metabolize the treat. This can cause an upset stomach, rapid breathing, or in the worst cases, seizures.

    If your pet has consumed chocolate, reach out to your vet immediately. They will give you a proper diagnosis and let you know which treatments, if any, are necessary.

    Is Chocolate Healthy or Unhealthy?

    Is Chocolate Healthy or Unhealthy?

    Is Chocolate Healthy or Unhealthy?

    Now that you know more about chocolate, the question remains – is chocolate healthy?

    Some sources praise the benefits of dark chocolate, while others warn that you should proceed with caution. Research is still being done on both sides.

    The best advice is to eat all types of chocolate, even dark chocolate, in moderation. Even the healthiest foods in excess can be bad for you, and it’s never a good idea to overindulge. You’re the expert of your own health, so do what works best for you!

    Stats for Success

    Stats for Success

    44% of people feel guilty about eating chocolate.

    Stats for Success

    A study published by the What percentage of dark chocolate is good for you Medical Association found that people who are depressed eat 55% more chocolate than those who are not suffering from depression.

    Stats for Success

    57% of people prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate.

    The Bottom Line

    In 2020, 45% of people made it their New Year’s resolution to improve their diet. One way to do that is by making sure you’re eating the right foods, and dark chocolate may just belong on that list. While it may not be wise to eat it all the time, a little bite here and there can go a long way!

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    Alyssa Mertes

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    Alyssa Mertes

    Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute. More articles by Alyssa Mertes

    Источник: https://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/blog/health-benefits-of-chocolate/

    4 proven benefits of dark chocolate and the best way to eat it

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    Emilija Manevska/Getty Images
    • Dark chocolate can benefit your brain and heart health, reduce inflammation, and combat oxidative stress in the body.
    • The flavonoids in dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and cholesterol while reducing your risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart disease. 
    • To achieve these health benefits, you should eat dark chocolate community resource credit union bank 80% cacao. 
    • This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.
    • Visit Insider's Health Reference library for more advice.

    From a young age, we're told to not eat too many sweets, including chocolate. However, dark chocolate, especially if it has a high percentage of cacao, can actually be good for you. This type of chocolate presents a variety of health perks that can benefit your heart, brain, and overall health.

    Here's why eating dark chocolate may be good for you.

    Dark chocolate can be beneficial for heart health

    Related
    Dark chocolate can be good for your heart, in moderation

    The reason dark chocolate is beneficial for heart health is that it contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that come from plants.

    Flavonoids may have the following heart health benefits: 

    • Lower blood pressure: The mechanisms are not fully known how dark chocolate and its flavonoids lower blood pressure. "It may simply be that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory parts, as well as the blood-thinning and blood-vessel relaxing properties of these chemicals, are what's responsible for lowering blood pressure," says Dana Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior dietitian at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and professor at the Fielding School of Public Health. 
    • Lower cholesterol: Flavonoids may increase levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which is known as "good cholesterol," and improve their function. HDL cholesterol absorbs LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein), which is "bad cholesterol," and in turn, lowers cholesterol levels in your body. 
    • Prevent blood clots: Flavonoids in dark chocolate have been found to affect blood platelets positively. A 2007 study showed that platelets in modest chocolate eaters' blood were less likely to clot than non-chocolate eaters. The researchers concluded that these anti-clotting effects may be responsible for chocolate's positive effects on cardiovascular health.
    • Prevent stroke: Dark chocolate may reduce stroke risk due to this ability to lower blood pressure, since high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke. Additionally, since it relaxes blood vessels, this can also lower the risk of stroke, Hunnes says.
    • Reduce the risk of heart disease: A 2017 meta-analysis looked at five studies that examined the relationship between chocolate consumption and risk of heart disease. The analysis found that across the five studies, there was a decreased risk of heart disease associated with moderate chocolate consumption. 

    Dark chocolate can improve brain health

    Due to the cardiovascular benefits mentioned above, Hunnes says flavonoids can help increase blood flow to the brain. As a byproduct of this, you will get more oxygen to your brain and move toxins out of the brain more quickly. This protects your brain and can help prevent neurodegenerative conditions, like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

    A small 2018 study stated that flavonoids can cross the blood-brain barrier and have a positive effect on electrical brain activity, which can improve attention and memory. In this study, the participants consumed 6.8 grams of dark chocolate to reap these benefits. 

    Hunnes says the increased blood flow may be the mechanism by which dark chocolate is believed to improve memory, and therefore, eating small amounts of dark chocolate each day can have a beneficial effect on overall cognition. 

    Dark chocolate may help reduce inflammation

    According to Hunnes, consuming dark chocolate is a natural way to reduce inflammation in your body. That's because the antioxidants in dark chocolate — particularly flavonoids and polyphenols — have anti-inflammatory properties. 

    Related
    What is an anti-inflammatory diet and its benefits for heart health

    Consuming anti-inflammatory foods provides overall health benefits, such as preventing future chronic diseases like heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

    In fact, Hunnes says reducing inflammation can help protect the following organs: 

    • Heart 
    • Lungs
    • Liver 
    • Brain 

    Dark chocolate reduces oxidative stress in the body

    Both flavonoids and polyphenols — antioxidants present in dark chocolate — can also combat the damage of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are natural byproducts of life that may also be caused by pollution or ultraviolet radiation. They can cause damage to our cells' DNA and result in oxidative stress, which can lead to chronic disease.  

    Because dark chocolate has an extremely high polyphenol content, it may help you reduce oxidative stress and combat free radicals. Here's how dark chocolate stacks up to other antioxidant-rich foods in terms of polyphenol content: 

    • Dark chocolate: 1664mg per 100g
    • Milk chocolate: 236mg per 100g
    • Strawberries: 235mg per 100g
    • Coffee: 214mg per 100mL
    • Ginger: 202mg per 100g
    • Red wine: 101mg per 100mL

    The best way to consume dark chocolate

    When choosing which type of dark chocolate to eat, a higher percentage of cacao is best. "The more cacao, the more healthy nutrients, the less sugar, and the less other potentially negative ingredients," Hunnes says.

    In particular, 80% cacao is the minimum that Hunnes recommends for achieving health benefits. Hunnes says that jeffrey fowler real estate rehoboth beach can have up to 20 to 30 grams per day of 80% dark chocolate, though if it's a lower percentage, you may want to eat a smaller amount each day. 

    To make your dark chocolate intake even healthier, she also suggests choosing non-dairy versions or trying cacao nibs, which are roasted cacao beans. Hunnes also advises limiting your consumption of less healthy sweets, like milk chocolate or white chocolate, as they contain higher amounts of sugar and fat. 

    The bottom line

    Consuming dark chocolate in moderation is a low-risk, delicious way to improve your overall health and help ward off health problems like stroke, high blood pressure, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Just remember to opt for the highest percentage of cacao for the healthiest option. 

    Related articles from Health Reference:

    More:Health ExplainersHealthNutritionChocolate
    Источник: https://www.insider.com/dark-chocolate-benefits

    How Much Dark Chocolate is Healthy to Eat Every Day?

    To all the chocolate lovers out there - you don’t really need an excuse to eat it every day, right? Having a bar stashed somewhere in the kitchen is good enough for a reason. Happiness and chocolate have been closely associated as a “love food” since the Mesoamerican civilizations. Chocolate was considered a luxury commodity in those early times. If you have been trying to validate your sweet habit then you should know there is an alternative out there that can positively affect your health. Enter dark chocolate. High in cocoa percentage, dark chocolate is a beneficial part of your daily diet, heart and overall health. Yes, you can now feel good about your dark chocolate obsession. But, the better question is what is the limit before overindulgence countervails the positive effects.

    What is the daily recommended amount of dark chocolate?

    Dark chocolates are made from the seed of cocoa trees, one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Advantages of eating it are widely known but suggestions for a solid number of grams are hard to come by. The type of dark chocolate you nibble on makes for an important factor. Reach for at least 70 percent cacao for the heart health benefits. Even though dark chocolate is considered a relatively healthy treat, one must bear in mind that it still packs plenty of calories. For example, a 100-gram bar of 85 percent dark chocolate, records around 600 calories, of that 450 comes from fat.

    The what percentage of dark chocolate is good for you dose is estimatedly 30-60g, experts say. You may consume too many calories if you indulge in anything beyond that. A 41 gram dark chocolate bar contains approximately 190 calories. A medium-size raw apple, on the other hand, amounts nearly 95 calories. Hence, don’t substitute healthy food items with this treat. Consider that you may be what percentage of dark chocolate is good for you consuming some extra calories even when sticking with the recommended amount.

    The takeaway

    Not only does chocolate taste awesome, it provides significant health benefits. So there is not much doubt about the powerful health advantages of cocoa but that doesn't imply that you go all out and eat lots of it every day. It is still laden with a good chunk of calories and fat, easy to overeat so be mindful of the daily intake. Enjoy just enough to feel satisfying so that it doesn't meddle with your healthy eating habits. Be aware that a lot of the store-bought stuff or chocolate on the market is not as healthy. Therefore, pick quality stuff only dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. Organic is always best so one must ensure that they are consuming chocolate with fewer and more natural ingredients.

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    Источник: https://www.news18.com/news/lifestyle/how-much-dark-chocolate-is-healthy-to-eat-every-day-3409562.html

    2 Replies to “What percentage of dark chocolate is good for you”

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