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Nutrition of Dark Chocolate Print

A nutritional data comparison between milk and dark chocolate might not show much difference. Is dark chocolate really better for you?

It is healthier to substitute milk chocolate with 70%+ dark chocolate, i.e. containing a minimum of 70% cocoa solids. The higher the cocoa content, the lower the sugar content. A chocolate labelled dark may have a solid cocoa content of only 39% and a sugar content of 56%. This is a high sugar content, not much less than the content of milk chocolate. A 70% cocoa solid containing chocolate has less than 30% sugar content, which is a significant difference.

Dark chocolate may have a slightly higher calorie content than milk chocolate. Chocolate is a high fat food and will have high calories there is however a difference in the type of fat. Many chocolates are high in saturated fat and partially hydrogenated fats. These fats negatively affect the cardiovascular, immune and  reproductive systems as well as energy metabolism, fat and essential fatty acid metabolism, liver function and cell membranes.

Good quality dark chocolate on the other hand is trans-fat free and contains fats like oleic acid and stearic acid which do not have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. In fact, the high cocoa content of dark chocolate may help with weight control if eaten in moderate amounts. Cocoa also suppresses the appetite.

Other  Benefits
  • Dark chocolate?s high antioxidant levels assists in anti-aging.
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Contains serotonin. This has an anti-depressant effect and stimulates endorphin production, which creates a feeling of pleasure.
 
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  helpline@sanha.org.za

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