What is Dark Chocolate and How Can it Help Your Health
Globally, there is an acknowledgment that dark chocolate is good for health with health benefits. As the cocoa contains a high concentration of anti-oxidants, it helps to prevent heart disease, cancer, improves vision and reduces low pressure. When choosing dark chocolate, make sure that it contains a high percentage of cocoa and minimal sugar. Research shows that people who consume dark chocolates on a daily basis have a sound mind and, sound body. It also helps to improve good cholesterol, prevents block in the heart and so on. But before you grab dark chocolate, you have to look at a few of the ingredients.
The main ingredient of quality dark chocolate is cocoa or chocolate liquor. Sugar is added in a very minimal amount to balance its taste. Though sugar is one of the important components, some dark chocolate brands go overboard. Dark chocolates are available in wholesale chocolate stores and, it is very hard to find chocolates without added sugar. Always choose chocolate where the sugar is not listed on the top. Also, note that higher the cocoa, lesser will be the sugar content.
The next optional ingredient that you can find in dark chocolates is lecithin. Most of the chocolates that you buy from the store have lecithin as an emulsifier. It prevents the cocoa and cocoa butter from separating and blends the flavor. It is primarily taken from soya beans and, you can see the name as soy lecithin. Bakers add soy lecithin in a small amount so as not to cause any health issue. When you are selecting chocolate, soy lecithin is not completely necessary, therefore choose wisely.
High-quality dark chocolates never contain milk. But there is an exception to it. You can find the presence of milk fat. Milk fat is butter, where there are no fat solids and, the moisture is removed. Most of the bakers and chocolate makers prefer milk fat so that the chocolate turns out soft and adds flavor. Similar to soy lecithin, milk is not completely necessary for dark chocolate.
You can find flavors in dark chocolate like spices and extracts to improve its taste. Most of the dark chocolates use vanilla as the common flavor. Though the chocolate has flavors, it is difficult to find out the difference between the natural and the artificial. You can still choose dark chocolates with flavors by opting for organic chocolates. In this way, you can make sure that the chocolate does not have artificial flavor.
Watch Out For Fat and Oil In Chocolate
It is better to avoid dark chocolate that contains trans-fat. Quality dark chocolate does not have trans fat as it gives risk to heart diseases. However, cacao does contain fat naturally and luckily for us this is monounsaturated fat that is actually good for you. That doesn't mean that there's no calories though!
- Written by James Hills
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