Chocolate is a healthy product. Flavonols in its composition help fight stress, and phenylethylamine is similar to our own, produced during love. Therefore, do not blame yourself for a small weakness in the form of a piece of chocolate. How to choose the right product - tells ABC Spain in translation Inosmi.
Shelves with chocolate bars and bars in the supermarket in recent years have been distinguished by an increasing variety of products. And the point is not that new manufacturers appeared. Just over time, this sweet product is "reinvented," all new flavors are born. However, now, amid the spread of COVID-19, these shelves are becoming more and more empty. Are there ever more chocolate bars sold during isolation? The answer is yes.
Many of the countless desserts on sale in recent weeks contain chocolate, and nutritionist Patricia Ortega explains that chocolate is a food product with two main ingredients: cocoa and sugar.
“For a product to be called“ chocolate ”, 35% of its total dry matter must be cocoa. In addition, we must take into account that it may contain other components, such as nuts or milk components. "
“The higher the cocoa content, the less sugar it has,” says Patricia Ortega.
As for chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa and no sugar at all, the expert says: “We do not consider this the best option, since, as a rule, such products contain a large amount of polyols. And the frequent consumption of polyhydric alcohols can have a laxative effect and, accordingly, cause negative consequences at the level of intestinal health. ”
From a health point of view, when buying chocolate products, experts recommend that you carefully study the list of ingredients and make sure that most of the product is cocoa.
“And if it indicates only 50-60% of cocoa, then this is not what you need. A nutritionally acceptable product is chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 85%. In addition, your chocolate may contain the indicated portion of cocoa butter, which should not be replaced with other vegetable fats, such as palm oil, ”warns Patricia Ortega.
In turn, according to the expert, the inscription "dark chocolate" on its label does not mean that it is healthier and that it contains more cocoa, since you can find "dark" chocolates with a rather variable percentage of cocoa (50%, 70%, 85%, etc.). The same confusion occurs with the term "pure" chocolate. “The concepts“ dark ”or“ pure ”only mean that these products contain cocoa
What is white chocolate?
In the supermarket we can find various types of sweets: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate with other ingredients such as nuts, pieces of fruit, etc., as well as white chocolate. Regarding the latter, the expert clarifies that it is not made from cocoa: “This is a product obtained from cocoa butter, milk or dairy products and sugars. Therefore, it should be borne in mind that this type of chocolate will not have the benefits associated with cocoa. "
Chocolate improves mood
The heroine of the famous film Bridget Jones said: "I have a very intense relationship with two men at the same time, one is called chocolate, and the other is pistachio." And it is not surprising that those who love chocolate experience an inexplicable craving for it. Is there any reason to somehow explain this?
Cocoa, which is used to make chocolates, seems to be a delicious meal, and many believe that they help them feel better. Scientific evidence for this claim is still insufficient, although there is already some work, such as a clinical study conducted by scientists from the University of Swinburne in Melbourne (Australia), which concludes that cocoa polyphenols can improve the mood of healthy people.
Nevertheless, to substantiate such claims, additional work still needs to be done. Although it is known that chocolate is really good for our health due to its high content of antioxidants called flavonoids. Therefore, “we can include cocoa in a balanced diet along with regular exercise,” say experts at the Cocoa Observatory.
The best way to consume natural cocoa
These experts advise regular drinking of cocoa during isolation. Being a versatile food product used in both desserts and salted recipes, cocoa is recommended for daily consumption.
“And in conditions of isolation, when the amount of sunlight we receive is limited, it is important to provide our food with natural sources of vitamin D, such as dairy products, fish and eggs. Putting a glass of cocoa milk in our daily diet can help us achieve the recommended daily amounts of this vitamin, ”they explain.
Natural cocoa can also be used in the preparation of mousses, smoothies, muffins and healthy salads for breakfast, you can sprinkle them with yoghurts or fruits and, in general, come up with a lot of other useful combinations.
“If you're the type of person who doesn't like high-cocoa chocolate, you can gradually increase it until you get used to it,” advises nutritionist Patricia Ortega.