An old research says that cacao seeds can be considered as “Super Fruits” so could this mean that chocolate is a “Super Food”? Well let’s see.

There’s a research were various fruit powders and retail fruit products were obtained and analysed for antioxidant capacity (ORAC), total polyphenol content (TP) and total flavonol content (TF).

Among all these powders that were tested, cocoa powder was the most concentrated source of ORAC and TF. Which means that by this terms, Cocoa can be considered as a “Super Fruit”.

Sadly those are only two terms where cocoa is good for our health. So I don’t think we can actually consider it a “Super Fruit”, although is good to know that it has some great benefits for our health.

You may have heard about the benefits of chocolate, well those two are the benefits behind that claim. But there’s much more that we should know before you start saying that eating chocolate is good for our health.

Chocolate = Sugar?

When you are eating chocolate doesn’t mean that you are eating a whole portion of cocoa powder.

Let me be more clear with this process.

All starts with the Theobroma cacao tree. There you will find cocoa beans which we put into several process:

  1. First through fermentation.
  2. Then cocoa beans are toasted.
  3. Then we dry them.
  4. Finally we smash them.

When we smash the cocoa beans after all that process we can obtain two products:

  1. Cocoa powder.
  2. Cocoa butter.

In the study that I mention before we talked about cocoa powder antioxidants and even about its flavonol content. But I haven’t talk about cocoa butter, well it turns out that it is 60% Saturated Fat, 33% Monounsaturated Fat and 3% Polyunsaturated Fat.

In other words, cocoa butter is purely fat, but it is a vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean so it’s a good fat for our health, of course in moderation.

Now we get into making chocolate, but I’m gonna talk first about Milk Chocolate and then about Dark Chocolate.

Lenus | Milk Chocolate

If I want to make Milk Chocolate I’m gonna need:

  1. Cocoa powder.
  2. Cocoa butter.
  3. Milk.
  4. Sugar.

Until now it doesn’t seem bad. Except that we need to know the proportions.

A regular Milk Chocolate has 10% of cocoa powder and butter but 90% of milk and sugar. So when you bite milk chocolate you are having mainly milk with sugar. And now even the milk has sugar so probably you are just eating sugar in a fancy presentation.

This is why milk chocolate remain as a terrible food for your body.

Lenus | Dark Chocolate

Now as promised. If I want to make Dark Chocolate I’m gonna need:

  1. Cocoa powder.
  2. Cocoa butter.
  3. Sugar.

With 35% of cocoa powder and cocoa butter and 65% sugar.

Sure Dark Chocolate is better than Milk Chocolate, but that doesn’t erase the 65% of sugar which is still the main content of chocolate.

So what I want you to do is to check out your chocolate nutritional content and ingredients. You will see more ingredients of the ones I used in here which are the basics to make chocolate.

Some companies use milk whey, salt, flavours, soy lecithin, and much more ingredients.

In the nutritional content you will see it’s sugar content. So make the math knowing that FDA recommends at most 50 grams of sugar per day and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends at most 25 grams of sugar per day.

Although the FDA on May 20, 2016, make some changes to the nutrition fact label, where all companies should add sugar in grams, the added sugar in grams and the daily intake. So it should be easier to know which foods are best for us.

If you have any doubt just avoid those foods with sugar as ingredient and also it’s variations as maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup, and others.

In any case. Chocolate is mainly sugar so it’s not good for our health, and if you want to have a treat make it in moderation and for special occasions. Health!

 

  • Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products. 2011/02/07. DOI: 10.1186/1752-153X-5-5.[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21299842]
  • Cocoa Butter Nutritional Facts from Google: [https://www.google.com.co/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=cocoa+butter]
  • The Shocking Truth About How Much Sugar You’re Eating. [http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/wellbeing/the-shocking-truth-about-how-much-sugar-youre-eating]
  • The FDA Says THIS Should Be Your Sugar Limit. 2015/11/11. Sarah Jacoby. [http://www.refinery29.com/2015/11/97444/fda-sugar-recommendation]
  • Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label. 2016/05/20. FDA. [http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm]