How Health is Chocolate?
Anything in moderation is usually ok – right? If you can moderate your chocolate intake (but why would you want to?) here are some tips to help. The good news is, you don’t have to cheat yourself or your diet, because there are healthier versions of chocolate. Yep, not all chocolate is created equal, and here’s how to pick the best nutritional options.
When it comes to making healthier chocolate choices, a simple rule to follow: the darker the better. Dark chocolate made from upwards of 60 per cent cocoa has higher amounts of antioxidants. This is important, because antioxidants are the molecules that fight to protect your body from disease.
In comparison, the cocoa in milk or white chocolate is diluted with additional milk solids and various types of sugar and cream, making it higher in fat and calories. That said, dark chocolate can contain a little added sugar and fat, which still makes it fairly calorie rich – so quality over quantity matters.
When it comes to other chocolate options, it’s easy to confuse cocoa and cacao. They’re both made from cocoa beans and are healthier types of chocolate. However, there are some differences to note. Basically, cacao powder is made by cold-pressing un-roasted cocoa beans. This keeps the living enzymes (the good guys) in the cocoa giving it a more bitter taste. In many ways, cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can have. It’s raw, less processed, and contains healthy fatty acids, as well as magnesium and flavanols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
In contrast, cocoa powder is roasted at very high temperatures. This changes the molecular structure of the cocoa bean and lowers the overall nutritional value, making cacao the better pick.
But remember – moderation is the key. Don’t deny yourself white or milk chocolate if you love the taste, especially if it’s Malta Chocolate Factory chocolate ☺. And remember, we have sugar free versions of both milk and dark chocolate in store.