These types of chocolate may be produced with ordinary cacao beans (mass-produced and cheap) or specialty cacao beans (aromatic and expensive) or a mixture of these two types. The composition of the mixture, origin of cacao beans, the treatment and roasting of beans, and the types and amounts of additives used will significantly affect the flavor and the price of the final chocolate.
- White chocolate. Chocolate made with cocoa butter, sugar, milk, emulsifier, vanilla and sometimes other flavorings. It does not contain any non-fat ingredients from the cacao bean and has therefore an off-white color.
- Milk chocolate. Sweet chocolate which normally contains 10-20% cocoa solids (which includes cocoa and cocoa butter) and more than 12% milk solids. It is seldom used for baking, except for cookies.
- Dark chocolate. Sweetened chocolate with high content of cocoa solids and no or very little milk, it may contain up to 12% milk solids. Dark chocolate can either be sweet, semi-sweet, bittersweet or unsweetened.
Dieters can keep chocolate in their diets by just working it into their total calorie count. The average chocolate bar is 250 calories.
Nutritious chocolate is made of cocoa paste, cocoa butter, and sugar. The seeds of the fruit of the cacao tree (native to Central and South America) produce the cocoa paste and cocoa butter. The cacao seeds are fermented, roasted, and ground into a paste. The basis for all chocolate and cocoa products is nonalcoholic chocolate liquor. It contains a multitude of nutrients: cocoa powerful antioxidants, fats (through cocoa butter); carbohydrates (through starch and various sugars); large amounts of vegetable proteins, potassium, and magnesium; small amounts of calcium and sodium; traces of iron; vitamins A, B1, (which is thiamine), B2 (which is riboflavin), D, and E; and caffeine. Many of these are good nutrients, creating chocolate nutrition health benefits. For a relatively small quantity, chocolate is a high-energy food. The difference between milk chocolate and dark chocolate is the ratio of cocoa liquor-to-milk. Some manufacturers use milk solids instead of whole milk, accounting for the many varieties of chocolate.
What are the scientifically recognized benefits of chocolate? The following is a benefit of chocolate :
Chocolate also provides endorphins, which act like natural opiates in treating chronic pain. Endorphins also bring on a relaxed state of mind, enable more oxygen to reach our inner blood supply and even improve our memory. Seratonin, a neurotransmitter is found in chocolate and works in our body as an anti-depressant.
Dark chocolate has been proven in studies to lower blood pressure and is considered healthy chocolate. The same is not true of milk chocolate or white chocolate. If you eat dark chocolate to lower your blood pressure, you have to balance the calories somewhere else in your diet.
Heart disease and flavanol Dark chocolate is also a potent antioxidant because it contains flavonoids (phenolic compounds); the same as red wine. It is believed that flavonoids protect against or slow down heart disease. Even though chocolate contains a saturated fat called stearic acid, it does not appear to be a factor in raising cholesterol. Flavanol in dark chocolate makes a difference in heart health and is a real chocolate health benefit: a healthy chocolate. In fact, dark chocolate has been shown to actually increase cardiovascular health. The flavanoids in dark chocolate have been shown to inhibit platelet activation and coagulation, boost plasma’s antioxidant ability, and induce relaxation of the vascular system. The purest, most natural dark chocolate is best, as processing can destroy some of healthy chocolate’s flavanoid content.
Other good things to note about chocolate is that chocolate doesn’t cause acne or irritate it. It’s also known to contain the vitamins B1, B2, D and E as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium.
Antioxidant-rich diets have been linked to a lowered risk of heart attacks, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer’s and more. So it stands to reason that if chocolate is chock full of antioxidants, it’s actually good for you.
Reference : from several sources