What's in high end chocolate that's healthy?
- fruglescot Feb 20, 2008 08:45 PM
I was given a sample of a rich, dark chocolate tonight and told that it was healthy for me to eat and might help me reduce my body size...................... What's with that? I never got the chocolate sampler to explain why? to me.
Isn't chocolate, high end or not, patently bad for your health and fattening to consume because of the sugars it contains ? .Please illuminate me.
Dark chocolate has antioxidants which are good for you but it's still full of calories and fat, high end or not. Adding dark chocolate w/out making any changes to your diet and activity level will not help reduce body size (if that were the case, Americans wouldn't be so overweight, they could just eat dark chocolate and lose weight! ;-p). I do find that a small amount of dark chocolate, 1-2 oz, helps keep off cravings for other junk food. So having it reduces my overall calorie consumption than not. But, that's just me. Good quality dark cocoa has the same antioxidants w/out the fat--but who eats that plain?
Dark chocolate has anti-oxidants that are good for your heart. A friend had a massive heart attack and subsequently worked with a dietician to overhaul his foodways (he's a bachelor and had a pretty typical bachelor's diet). The "OK Foods List" included both dark chocolate and red wine, along with recommended weekly consumption limits. So there is science to back up claims that dark chocolate can be good for your health.
Good quality dark chocolate (no milk solids & high cacao content such as 65%+ ) can actually be good for you ... or at least benign.
Yes, cocoa butter is a saturated fat. But it's monosaturated and has been shown to be neutral to bad cholesterol levels and perhaps even have a positive effect on good cholesterol.
Dark chocolate also has fiber. Not a lot, usually 2-4 grams per ounce, but often more than you'd get in a cookie.
Dark chocolate also has traces of minerals such as calcium (yes, even dark chocolate has calcium), magnesium, copper & iron (7-8% of your RDA in an ounce).
Dark chocolate also has protein - 3-4 grams per ounce. This combination of fats, fiber and protein along with the sugar can make even a small amount very satisfying.
I wouldn't use it as a meal replacement, but as a dessert indulgence, it can certainly be something to consider, especially because of the antioxidants (more than red wine).
Please explain what monosaturated fat is. I hear about monoUNsaturated fat a lot, but looking at the different types of saturated fats, I've never heard about the term monosaturated.
Just want to make sure that I know the right term to do a little more research about the benefits of dark chocolate. Thanks.
ETA: Perhaps the type of saturated fat you're referring to is stearic acid?
Definitely a type of saturated fat that's in chocolate......
(Moderators, PLEASE don't remove this question. I think it's important for accurate information to be posted for people who either take things at face value or want to do more research on a nutrition topic.)
I'm not a dietician or anything, I just read a lot of stuff here and there.
Here's a good link to a chart on wikipedia that shows the components of many of the saturated fats:
Cocoa butter is mostly stearic acid and palmitic acid.
Fats and fatty acids are essential to a working body. Fatty acids also have antioxidant properties of their own and can help to preserve the vitamin & bioflavinoids in the cocoa solids.
Here's an article that may explain it pretty well: