Chocolate Health Issues-not all dark chocolate is created equal
The Brits have been at it again….. An Editorial in the esteemed British Medical Journal, the Lancet has wisely suggested that eating vast amounts of assorted dark chocolate might not be a good idea. They point out that a lot of dark chocolate has had the flavanoid antioxidants pounded out of them to make the chocolate less bitter tasting and that these processed types of confections would have absolutely no clinical benefit.
Seems fair enough really…. This is a bit like the difference between the nutritional benefit of a fresh vegetable versus the nutritional benefit of a frozen meal…..
Dark Chocolate in its purest form is a ground up fermented seed from the Cacao tree. Cacao seeds are vegetable matter and contain a significant percentage of flavanol antioxidants. The trouble is that certain manufacturers like to process the goodness out of the chocolate just to make a mild taste…….This is a great shame really because high quality dark chocolate really tastes rather good!
Think about it this way:
If we want to eat a healthy meal…. Do we boil our broccoli to mush and garnish it liberally with butter, cheese and salt or do we lightly steam the broccoli to preserve the vitamins? Cheese sauce may taste good but the broccoli can act as dispensation for unhealthy foods!
Adding a lot of dairy (cream, milk) or sugar makes the chocolate really easy to eat but there is absolutely no clinical benefit to a diet rich in milk and cream. Surprisingly milk and cream don’t really “kill” the uptake of antioxidants, but dairy products are hardly healthy in large doses. Therefore when looking for dark chocolate the rule is keep it simple! Look for a chocolate bar with a high percentage of Cacao with just a little sugar.