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Chocolate is a beloved and delicious treat that millions of people worldwide enjoy. Whether it’s a sweet snack, a comforting drink, or an overly indulgent dessert, chocolate can make everything better.
However, not all chocolate is created equal, and there are some things that people should know when consuming this delicious treat. Also, as horrible as it may sound, for some people, it may actually be unwise to eat this truly yummy snack. The good news is there are some ways around it!
This piece will explore what people need to know when eating chocolate, from the different types of chocolate to the health benefits and risks. So, enjoy!
Types of Chocolate
When it comes to chocolate, there are several different types available on the market, and understandably, some are more popular than others.
This is the most popular type of chocolate, made with cocoa solids, sugar, and milk. It’s often creamier and sweeter than other types of chocolate and is commonly used in candy bars, desserts, and custom chocolate boxes.
This type of chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa solids, usually 60% or higher, and it also has less sugar than milk chocolate. It has a more intense, bitter taste and is often used in baking and cooking.
This newer type of chocolate is made with cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but it doesn’t contain any cocoa solids. It has a sweet, creamy taste and is often used as a topping or in desserts. It is also often used in chocolate bombs and tastes great with raspberries!
Health Benefits of Chocolate
On to the bit that chocoholics are interested in! Chocolate has been studied extensively for its potential health benefits, and research suggests that moderate consumption of chocolate can have a positive impact on someone’s health.
Cardiovascular studies have shown that consuming chocolate can lower blood pressure, as well as improve blood flow, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Of course, this is more closely linked to darker chocolates and ones that have less sugar.
Chocolate contains compounds that can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Also, as a food, it can aid in the release of brain chemicals oxytocin and dopamine, which are mood boosters in day-to-day life.
Plain chocolate contains antioxidants. These can protect against cellular damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Great!
Risks of Consuming Chocolate
Now, onto the potential problems (sorry!) that can come with eating too much chocolate.
Chocolate is exceedingly high in calories, especially if it is paired with caramel, nougat, or cream, which can cause issues with weight gain. So, moderation, please!
Most types of chocolate contain added sugar unless you are eating 96% cocoa chocolate, which can contribute to tooth decay, diabetes, and other health issues if consumed in excess. There are sugar-free chocolates and low-sugar options available, though, so be on the lookout for those!
Allergies and Intolerances
Some people are allergic to chocolate or specific ingredients used in chocolate, such as milk or nuts. Luckily, there are now nut-free options available, as well as lactose-free forms of chocolate, which means you can enjoy this snack without getting ill. Great!