With the holidays upon us, whether you’re a chocolate lover or not, it’s likely that there will be more around than usual. Can you eat just one?
What makes a good quality and healthy chocolate? Well as with any food, it depends on the ingredients. Good quality chocolate has cocoa powder from the cacao plant, cocoa solids, some soy lecithin, maybe vanilla and some sort of sweetener. But that’s it. A seriously simple ingredient list will determine how healthy it is. Reading labels can be a serious bummer. The longer the list gets, the less healthy it is.
It’s not actually the chocolate but the flavanols in chocolate that might have potential benefits. Flavanols are abundant in cocoa beans, which yield cocoa powder, which is then used to make chocolate. And that’s why the health benefits of antioxidants and nutrients are really only found in quality dark chocolate. The nutrition looks like this: fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals.
The fat that’s added is one to watch out for. Palm oils, cheap vegetable fats, and often many other fillers are added that don’t add flavour, so some chocolate flavor must be added to make it taste even similar to the original.
Chocolates are known to be stress-busters, relaxants and aphrodisiacs, so it can’t be all that bad. And even with the first sniff, my guest on episode 49 of EAT THIS with Lianne, who is a Chocolatier, says that you can start to de-stress!
Did you know that that melt-in-the-mouth chocolate also shows the quality of it? That’s part of how to eat chocolate to lose weight… Learn more in the For the Love of Chocolate episode here.
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