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Where To Buy Healthy Dark Chocolate



More research is needed, but a review published in December 2019 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health notes that dark chocolate is linked to cardiovascular health, glucose control, and even improved sexual function with its role as an aphrodisiac. (Dark chocolate-covered strawberries exist for a reason!)




where to buy healthy dark chocolate


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Since 2006, Theo Chocolate has been producing sustainable, fair trade, organic chocolate. Its original dark chocolate bar keeps it simple with just three ingredients: cocoa beans, sugar, and vanilla beans. The higher the cocoa content, the more flavonoids (plant compounds with antioxidant properties) the bar contains, Michalczyk points out. Its minimalist and organic approach is what makes this bar so reliably healthful but also deliciously rich and satisfying.


This smooth dark chocolate brings an extra buttery and salty indulgence to the table. Ecuadorian cacao beans, cocoa butter, and cream from heritage Swiss cows raise Alter Eco's artisan (and organic) chocolate up a notch. The company's chocolatiers complete the treat with a touch of fleur de sel de Guérande for a salty-sweet finish.


One of the great things about chocolate squares (think of them as mini chocolate bars) is that they can promote mindful eating, helping you slow down and truly enjoy the treat, says Binder-McAsey. This 72 percent cacao chocolate is dark, rich, and flavorful, as well as smooth. This is the type of chocolate that you want to break off just a little bit and let it melt in your mouth before moving onto the next piece.


From my experience the best manufacturer of dark chocolate is Zotter from Austria. They offer a large variety of dark chocolates with cocoa from many different locations. The taste is great and all chocolates are organic and fairtrade.


The best dark chocolate always has chocolate liquor or cocoa listed as the first ingredient. There may be several forms of cocoa listed, such as cocoa powder, cocoa nibs and cocoa butter. All of these are acceptable additions to dark chocolate.


Sometimes other ingredients are added to dark chocolate to improve its appearance, flavor and shelf life. Some of these ingredients are harmless, while others can have a negative impact on the overall quality of the chocolate.


Dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, whereas milk chocolate contains anywhere from 10-50% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, milk in some form, and sugar. Though dark chocolate should not contain milk, there may be traces of milk from cross-contamination during processing, as the same machinery is often used to produce milk and dark chocolate. Lower quality chocolates may also add butter fat, vegetable oils, or artificial colors or flavors. White chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids and is made simply of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk.


Dark chocolate is high in calories (150-170 calories per ounce) and can contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess. However, chocolate, like nuts can induce satiety, so the longer term implications for weight control are not clear. It also contains a moderate amount of saturated fat, which can negatively affect blood lipid levels, though its heart-protective effects from flavanols appear to outweigh the risk. Choosing dark chocolate and eating modest quantities may offer the greatest health benefits.


Independent groups that have evaluated different samples of chocolate found that dark chocolate, which contains more cocoa solids, tends to contain more metals than milk chocolate. Also, organic brands do not necessarily contain less metals than non-organic chocolate, sometimes containing more.


Not all brands of dark chocolate are high in cadmium and lead. The links below show testing of various chocolate brands for heavy metal content. (Note: The Nutrition Source does not endorse specific brands, and the inclusion of branded products in these external resources does not constitute an endorsement.)


To reap the health benefits of dark chocolate while minimizing risk, choose brands tested lower in heavy metals and limit to one ounce a day. Those at higher risk for negative side effects such as children and those who are pregnant may wish to eat even smaller amounts and only occasionally.


At their core, milk chocolate and dark chocolate have similar ingredients, including cocoa butter, sugar and cocoa solids. The two kinds of chocolate differ in their percentage of cocoa solids, however.


Dark chocolate is packed full of important minerals, including iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and phosphorus. In your body, these minerals are used to support factors such as immunity (zinc), can help keep your bones and teeth healthy (phosphorus), and contribute to better sleep quality (magnesium).


Chocolate has been a popular treat since the Mayans enjoyed it to spice their beverages back in 2000 B.C. We still value chocolate today, and now we have even more reasons to crave it in all its many forms, from chocolate drinks to chocolate flavoring to hard chocolate candies. Not only is it a popular tasty treat, but dark chocolate also has a wide range of health benefits.


Separate studies have shown that dark chocolate may offer a number of benefits which, if combined, could guard against cardiovascular disease. Dark chocolate offers anti-inflammatory effects as well as antithrombotic ones, which can help prevent blood clots, and antihypertensive properties, which can help lower blood pressure. More study is needed confirm these effects might all work together in this way.


The types of flavanols present in dark chocolate have been shown to reduce risk factors associated with insulin resistance. These positive effects against insulin resistance may reduce the risk of diabetes in the long run.


Another study showed that moderate servings of dark chocolate helped with blood vessel flexibility, easing stiffness in arteries and improving their function. This may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, which happens when buildup of plaque and fats on the inside walls of your arteries restrict blood flow.


Early tests showed that people who ate dark chocolate had improved vision two hours after eating the chocolate, compared to people who ate milk chocolate instead. While dark chocolate might offer temporarily improved vision, more tests are need to determine how long that boost might last or how helpful it might be in the real world.


My splurge of five or so allowable chocolate chips each day during this month of hardship (er, I mean healthy eating) are being often replaced by one of these healthy dark chocolate almond bites, and I feel really good about that decision.


Copper is a cofactor for a number of enzymes and is required for processes, including iron transport, glucose metabolism, infant growth, and brain development (190, 259). Copper deficiency can lead to anemia and pancytopenia, causing hypertension, inflammation, and myocardial hypertrophy (214). Copper deficiency has been linked to glucose intolerance, cardiac arrhythmia, and hypercholesterolemia in animals and humans (134); however, elevated copper status may also be harmful. High serum copper concentration is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death (206), all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular mortality (142). Chocolate is a significant source of copper for Americans; milk chocolate provides 10% of the U.S. RDA for copper per 100-kcal serving, whereas dark chocolate provides 31%, and cocoa powder 23% per tablespoon (1, 184). Despite the potential detrimental effects of excess copper, the prevention of copper deficiency is, nevertheless, important for the maintenance of cardiovascular health. Because a 1000-kcal serving of chocolate would need to be consumed to reach the RDA for copper, it is unlikely that chocolate consumption would elevate serum copper concentrations to harmful levels.


Because of their high flavonoid content, the cocoa solids present in chocolate are typically hypothesized to affect measures of cardiovascular health, whereas other components of chocolate products (e.g., cocoa butter) are thought to have little or no effect. Given this reasonable assumption, the results of a study by Kris-Etherton et al. are surprising (135). In their study, consumption of milk chocolate as a substitute for a high-carbohydrate snack bar improved levels of serum HDL and triglycerides. This improvement occurred despite the fact that the milk chocolate bar increased the total fat and saturated fat in the diet. Because milk chocolate contains a relatively small proportion of cocoa solids, this finding might suggest that a component in chocolate other than flavonoids (possibly stearic acid) was responsible. However, in another trial, HDL increased by 11.4% and 13.7% when subjects consumed dark chocolate and polyphenol-enriched dark chocolate, respectively, but not when they consumed white chocolate (181). One possible explanation for the results of Kris-Etherton et al. is that the chocolate bar's displacement of a high-carbohydrate snack, rather than some active compound in the chocolate bar itself, led to the change in lipid levels.


Levels of oxidized LDL in the blood have been shown to predict CAD better than total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, and LDL (63, 110). In general, intervention studies suggest that cocoa can inhibit LDL oxidation. Decreased levels of plasma-oxidized LDL have been observed in subjects after long-term daily consumption of cocoa powder (14, 15) and dark chocolate (267). These effects might be attributed to epicatechin, which attenuates LDL oxidation and protects the endothelium from the actions of oxidized LDL (246). However, some studies suggest that consumption of chocolate low in flavonoids may also be beneficial. In two studies, milk chocolate (135) and white chocolate (181) inhibited LDL oxidation. In the latter study, a marker of lipid peroxidation decreased 11.9% after consumption of white chocolate, dark chocolate, or dark chocolate enriched with polyphenols (181). These results indicate that the fatty acids in chocolate may play an important role in LDL oxidation. 041b061a72


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