Chocolate is available in a variety of flavors. But no matter whether white, dark or milk chocolate - one thing is common to all varieties: Chocolate is not exactly healthy, because it contains a lot of fat and sugar and therefore also many calories. However, cocoa powder also contains certain substances that can have a positive effect on blood pressure and our heart health. This effect is particularly great when snacking on dark chocolate, as it contains an extremely high amount of cocoa powder.
Chocolate: Calories and Ingredients
Chocolate is rich in fat and sugar and therefore anything but healthy. Depending on whether it is white, milk chocolate or dark chocolate, the ingredients may vary slightly.
However, all varieties have in common that they contain relatively many calories. On average, it brings a bar of 500 to 550 calories. This already covers a quarter of the daily calorie requirements of an adult.
- White chocolate It is the most unhealthy of the three varieties. It has the highest calories on average and contains the most sugars. In 100 grams there are about 63 grams of sugar and 30 grams of fat.
- Milk chocolate has a similar amount of calories, but at 57 grams contains a little less sugar. Their fat content is similar to 29.5 grams.
- Dark chocolate In comparison, it is the healthiest choice: with almost 500 calories, it contains about 50 calories less than the other two varieties. In addition, it contains "only" 44 grams of sugar, but 36 grams of fat.
Does chocolate make you happy?
There are several substances in chocolate that have a mood-enhancing effect is attributed. For example, cocoa powder contains theobromine, which, like caffeine, stimulates the circulation and is also mood-enhancing. Phenylethylamine, the cannabinoid anandamide and the serotonin precursor tryptophan also have a mood-enhancing effect.
However, the mood-enhancing effect, which is said to sweet treat, but can not be fully explained by the ingredients mentioned. But the effect they have is too low. Probably also worry mental factors for making chocolate happy. Because when consumed, our reward system is activated and the neurotransmitters dopamine and endorphins are released.
5 facts about chocolate - © Karolina Grabowska / Kaboompics
Positive effect on health
Consuming chocolate - especially dark chocolate - can cause the level of heart-protecting antioxidants to rise sharply for some time. Because cocoa powder contains certain flavonoids (Epicatechin), which have a positive effect on heart and blood pressure. They ensure that the vessels become more elastic and thus lower blood pressure.
Anyone who regularly consumes small quantities of dark chocolate should not only be able to lower their blood pressure, but also reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack.
However, flavonoids are also found in other foods such as apples. The positive effect on the blood pressure is therefore no reason to feast unrestrained chocolate.
Risk for obesity and secondary diseases
Although dark chocolate can have a positive effect on your health, do not forget that chocolate is a candy that contains lots of fat, sugar and calories. Those who regularly consume larger amounts, significantly increases their risk of being overweight and therefore also for cardiovascular diseases.
In addition, the likelihood of Caries to get.
Chocolate and acne
Whether chocolate is the origin of Acne and pimples still needs to be clarified. However, recent studies suggest that there is a link between the consumption of chocolate and the development of common acne (acne vulgaris).
Dark chocolate only in moderation
Although dark chocolate contains less sugar and fewer calories than other varieties, you should only consume the sweet in moderation. Because bitter chocolate contains a lot of cocoa powder, depending on the location of the cocoa tree cadmium can be burdened. This applies especially to cocoa powder from South America, as cocoa plants often grow there on volcanic soil, which contains a lot of cadmium.
Cadmium is a chemical element that can cause major damage to kidneys and bones. The introduction of a limit value for cadmium in chocolate is repeatedly demanded, but the implementation is still pending.
Harmful aluminum in chocolate
In addition, one should keep his chocolate consumption due to the increased aluminum content in cocoa better limited. Aluminum can negatively affect the nervous system, fertility and bone development.
According to a 2008 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinion, the average aluminum content of untreated food is less than five milligrams per kilogram. However, foods such as cocoa - and accordingly chocolate products - may also have a higher concentration.