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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Chocolate


Chocolate, also referred to as cacao is made from seeds of cacao (Theobroma cacao) tree. The seeds are fermented and roasted, in order to remove the bitter taste. They are then powdered and the resultant product is termed as ‘Chocolate’. Chocolate contains both saturated and unsaturated fats and are recommended in small quantities. Some chocolates contain antioxidants, called flavanoids, which are heart-friendly.
Chocolate bars with processed chocolate, nougat, caramel and groundnuts are better avoided, as they contain more fat.

Alkaloids, like phenethylamine and theobromine are present in chocolates, having therapeutic value. Research reveals that chocolates result in increased risk of acne, obesity and migraines. About 50% of chocolates comprise of sugar. Protein in chocolate helps in repair and regulation of cells. 30% of chocolates are fats, comprising of equal amounts of saturated and unsaturated fats.

Cocoa beans contain around 600 chemicals and some active ingredients or antioxidant phytochemicals, called flavanoids, necessary for combating degenerative diseases, cardiac problems and cancer. Chocolates contain iron and copper, essential for hemoglobin formation and nervous system functioning respectively. Copper is also necessary for melanin formation and iron metabolism. Minerals, such as, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium in chocolates are essentials for strong teeth and bones. Vitamin E helps in cell integrity. Threobromine and caffeine in chocolates are nerve stimulants.

Migraines are devastating and incapacitating. It is a kind of headache, caused by arterial spasms to the nervous system. Factors that stimulate a migraine headache are stress, fasting, fatigue, hormones, anger and others. Chocolates also stimulate headaches but are not the primary causes. Chocolates also intensify acne and other skin complications. Studies focus on the effect of a dietary regimen with increased refined foods consumption with a combination of high glycemic index foods, on pimples. Chocolate is an energy bundled food and regular or excessive eating results in weight gain. Little amounts of chocolates can be consumed by diabetics; nevertheless, guidance of physician is essential.

Majority of the saturated fats in chocolates are stearic acid, which fail to have any negative effect on blood cholesterol levels. Catechins in cocoa beans, also seen in vegetables and fruits, are helpful in prevention of degenerative diseases, such as cancer and cardiac problems. Dark chocolates are a good source of catechins and are supposed to prevent lipid oxidation and reduce blood coagulation. Drinking cocoa is preferred to eating chocolates, as it has a reduced fat content. Tea also has catechins, similar to cocoa and chocolates, but is devoid of fat.

What Are Ingredients To Make Chocolate At Home?

As far as making desserts at home go, chocolate home-made recipes are some of the most sought after sweet dish preparations. As with any dish or dessert, making sure that you have the right homemade chocolate ingredients handy before you start cooking is a very important part of the project. First off, sugar is the most basic and important ingredient in any chocolate homemade recipe and some of the other required ingredients include vanilla flavoring, eggs, bitter chocolate and some butter. All the quantities of each ingredient will depend heavily on the number of people that the dessert is being prepared for. 

Are Chocolate Bars Gluten Free?

Because of the fact that Gluten, which is a substance found in a wide range of foods, causes a number of medical complications in certain individuals, looking through the many Gluten free chocolate bars list can help you decide what the best and healthiest chocolate treats are for you. One thing to remember is that chocolate is, in its natural state, is completely chocolate free. Whether it is a combination of chocolate with a cookie, or chocolate candy bars themselves (as none are 100% chocolate), there are a number of ingredients that you would need to look through to identify if the treat holds any danger. The gluten free chocolate candy ingredients will depend heavily on the kind of dish being prepared, so it is highly recommended that, when you see some chocolate bar or other treat, that you ask the maker or manufacturer and seek advice about gluten content. 
Submitted on January 16, 2014