What makes dark chocolate healthy? Cocoa loaded with beneficial flavonoid antioxidants.
Unfortunately, processing beans into bars removes a lot of these disease fighters.
So if you want a bar with benefits, percentage is critical.
You need a concentration of cocoa to replace what's lost.
So just how much do you need?
Seventy percent. That's the minimum cocoa content for healthy chocolate.
Great for chocolate lovers. But what do you if that's too strong for you?
You know that cocoa content is important but what does it refer to?
It tells you what percentage of the candy bar or chocolate product is made from cacao.
The bean that's the source of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder.
Dark chocolate is healthy when it's made with high a percentage of these cocoa solids. The higher the better.
More particles of powdered chocolate mean more beneficial dark chocolate antioxidant potential and a lower sugar content.
Also cocoa butter is a healthier fat than most others. It doesn't raise cholesterol.
So it's important that your candy bar contain it and not cheap saturated fat substitutes like palm oil.
Read the label carefully before you buy. Chocolate and cocoa butter should be the first two ingredients listed.
Learn what's in the best dark chocolate.
Why does the cocoa content have to be so high?
Because most of the healthy chocolate antioxidants in cocoa beans are destroyed by traditional processing methods.
They're bitter, so they're fermented, roasted, and processed out.
Who knew? These methods were developed to enhance taste not nutrition.
So how much cocoa do you need?
You need a high cocoa content of at least 70% to make up for the loss.
More cocoa means more beneficial chocolate antioxidants are likely to be in the bar or product.
But what if you don't enjoy chocolate that dark (70% cocoa or more)?
Maybe the new ways to process cocoa developed by Mars (Dove®), Barry Callebaut, and Natraceutical will let you enjoy chocolate with benefits.
These methods retain more of the antioxidants found in the cocoa bean.
That should mean less cocoa needed and a milder flavor, right?
But it's going to cost you more.
Remember you can't put a price on good health, that's your insurance company's job.
You can always dip into Dove dark chocolate. It might not be too dark for you and it's available almost everywhere!
All you really need to remember is that dark chocolate is healthy when it contains lots of cocoa. A bar with very little is just candy. So pick a product with a cocoa content of at least 70%, rich in flavor and flavonoids. A truly rare combination! But well worth the search.
Learn the Benefits of Dark Chocolate.
Try These Healthy Dark Chocolate Choices!
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