Is Dark Chocolate Good For You? Calories In Dark Chocolate.

Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

Eating chocolate has many advantages, but it brings up the question of how much is beneficial and how many calories is in dark chocolate?

Some people like to have them for breakfast and some of them grab them as a snack for lunch.

The cocoa in dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which provide several health benefits.

Dark chocolate is rich in minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Dark chocolate is made of cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and sugar.

Cocoa mass forms when the cocoa nibs (nibs – when a cocoa bean has been roasted and de-shelled, the cocoa inside crumbles very easily into small pieces of beanβ€”these are called nibs) heated and crushed.

Cocoa butter is a natural, meltable oil that is extractedΒ from the cocoa bean. Cocoa butter does not raise cholesterol even though it is high in saturated fat. Cocoa butter contains 35 percent stearic acid (a saturated fat), 35 percent oleic acid (a monounsaturated fat), 25 percent palmitic acid (a saturated fat), 3 percent linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated fat).

Sugar sugar is sucrose, a molecule composed of 12 atoms of carbon, 22 atoms of hydrogen, and 11 atoms of oxygen. Β It’s found naturally in most in sugarcane and sugar beets

Milk chocolate is made of the same ingredients. The only difference is that the milk powder is added.

White chocolate is made with cocoa butter, sugar, and milk powder. It doesn’t contain any cocoa mass.

Not only does dark chocolate have a higher concentration of antioxidants than milk chocolate, but milk chocolate is also higher in sugar and fats.

Calories in dark chocolate

Keep in mind that dark chocolate do have calories. It is recommended to consume 1-2 ounces a day.

One ounce of dark chocolate with 60 to 69 percent cacao solids has 164 calories, 11 grams of fat and 15 grams of total carbohydrates.

It also supplies 2 grams of protein and fiber. These values change slightly depending on the amount of cacao solids.

Where do the calories in Dark Chocolate, 60-69% Cacao come from?

Pie chart of dark chocolate

One ounce of dark chocolate with 45 to 59 percent cacao solids has 155 calories and 14 grams of sugar.

In chocolate that retains 70 to 85 percent cacao solids, the calories increase to 170 but sugar decreases to 7 grams.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 164(686 kJ)
Total Fat10.9 g17%
Saturated Fat6.3 g31%
Trans Fat< 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat3.3 g
Cholesterol2 mg1%
Sodium3 mg0%
Total Carbohydrate14.9 g5%
Dietary Fiber2.3 g9%
Sugars10.4 g
Protein1.7 g
Calcium18 mg
Potassium161 mg
Iron2 mg
Vitamin A14 mg
Caffeine24 mg

How to choose the healthiest dark chocolate?

If you want to buy the best and healthiest dark chocolate then you should pay attention to such things:

Percentage of cocoa

The darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao. Cacao is very bitter, so the higher the percentage cacao, the more bitter it is.

Top three ingredients

Always check the ingredient list before buying chocolate. Pay attention to the first three ingredients.

Cocoa should be one of the top three ingredients. The higher it is on the list, the more of it is in there.

The main components of high quality chocolate should be:

  • cocoa,
  • cocoa butter,
  • coconut oil,
  • natural sweetener.

Skip the ones that contain:

  • soy products,
  • hydrogenated fats,
  • milk solids,
  • thickeners,
  • humectants .

They’re generally loaded with chemicals and artificial ingredients. They are not healthy at all.

Pay attention to surface of the chocolate

Before you buy the chocolate, look at it more closely.

You should choose chocolate that has a glossy surface and without blemishes.

If the surface is scarred or has uneven colour this may be a sign that the chocolate is expired or has been subject to extremes in temperature or handling.

Break it!

Break the chocolate into pieces. If the chocolate is of high quality you must hear a clean, hard β€œsnap” when breaking.

If it crumbles, it means that the quality is low or the chocolate might be old.

Smell it!

High quality dark chocolate will smell strongly of chocolate.

Rub your fingers over the surface of a chocolate, and then smell the bar. If it doesn’t smell like chocolate, then you should avoid it.

Sugar amount

Cocoa are naturally bitter so to make them more tasty, they add lots of sugar!

When checking the ingredient list, skip the chocolate if you see some of these ingredients:

  • the cane sugar,
  • corn syrup,
  • fructose,
  • high fructose corn syrup,
  • artificial sweeteners.

Look for naturally sweetened varieties such as:

  • honey,
  • coconut sugar,
  • sugar,
  • maple syrup .

The darker chocolate you choose, the lower the sugar content, so aim for 70% or more cocoa.

Benefits of dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is not only a delicious treat, it actually comes with incredible health benefits.

Improves vision

What dark chocolate has common with carrot? Researchers show that consuming dark chocolate improves vision.

It could be that the flavanols in dark chocolate, which improve blood flow to the brain, improve blood flow to the retina.

White and milk chocolate don’t have the same amount of flavanols as dark chocolate.

Live longer

Eating one or two doses of dark chocolate per week could even help you live longer.

In the study, researchers compared men who ate chocolate with those who didn’t and found that the former group lived one year longer than those who didn’t ate.

Improves memory

Can’t remember where you put your wallet? Did you know that antioxidants called flavanols found in cocoa can help improve function in the area of the brain responsible for memory loss.

People that were on a special diet high in raw cocoa flavanols called epicatechin, after six month scored incredibly higher on memory tests.

Boost your mood

Chocolate really can boost your mood. Chocolate contains the fatty acids, which do the trick.

Studies have found that chocolate in particular can make you feel happier and improve your mood.

Chocolate stimulates the neural activity of the brain associated with pleasure.

Healthy teeth

Did you know that dark chocolate helps to keep your teeth healthy.

Other types of chocolates are more damaging because they do not contain theobromine like dark chocolate does.

Theobromine is a component that has potential to fight tooth decay. The nutrient can fight bacteria that damages outer surface layer of your teeth.

So you can consume dark chocolate without worrying about your oral health, but don’t forget to opt for frequent dental hygiene.

 Cardiovascular Health

Consuming a small amount of dark chocolate can improve your heart health.

It helps perform functions such as allowing flow of blood. It can prevent blood clotting in your arteries, inflammation.

However, do not forget that everything works best in moderation.

Treats Cough

Many people are coughing constantly. You can ease this condition by consuming a piece of dark chocolate.

The component theobromine found in it, controls your coughs and inflammation.

Keeps You Full

Dark chocolate has plenty of nutrients and high levels of fiber.

When you consume it regularly, it will keep you full for hours providing you enough energy for a day.

Many people keep a bar of chocolate in their pocket or bag. So they can consume some as a healthy snack when feeling hungry.

Raises good cholesterol

Eating chocolate helps to lower bad cholesterol. Cocoa  butter contains oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat, it is exactly the same fat you find in heart-healthy olive oil.

This monounsaturated fat can actually raise your goo cholesterol. No matter how good chocolate is, you should always remember to eat in moderation.

Conclusion

Eating too much chocolate can lead to weight gain. Even though chocolate contains many health benefits, remember about the portion you consume.

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