The truth about chocolate


The chocolate has always been not only tasty but also valuable product. Sometimes people assigned almost magical features to this product. And now it seems they had a real cause to do this. So let’s consider what are the prons and cons of the chocolate and why we should or shouldn’t use it.

The chocolate has become the real passion for the children and a real nightmare for their moms that don’t want to hear about the fact that their child has just tasted it. This product has always been considered to be the “food for the gods” and remained forbidden due to the number of baseless biases. However today they are completely deflated.

There is no doubt that many like it. It is also seems to be useful. This was well known to ancient aztecks that believed many centuries ago that “xocolatl” which was their name for chocolate was able to “oust the weariness”. There is no coincidence that the scientific name of the plant with cacao seeds is theobrome cacao that means “food for the gods”. However this product that was highly valued within many centuries by gourmands of all ages got the label of the main cause of caries, acne, cholesterol and excessive weight. This charge was based sometimes on quite groundless reasons. The experts-dietitians today have rehabilitated this favorite children delicacy and the chocolate rose to the top of the useful products.

So, is it true that the chocolate contributes to over arousal?

Yes. Cacao contains theobromine which relates to the same group as the caffeine that appears in coffee though providing quite less arousing effect. That is why some people may experience insomnia after they ate a bar of chocolate in the evening. And what is about children? There is the same effect. In order to avoid such situation it is not advised to eat a lot of chocolate and to give it children in the evening and especially to those that are easy to get excited and cannot fall a sleep for too long.

… is rich of fats?

Yes. It would be enough to say that the chocolate bar contains 50-60% of the carbohydrates (like sugar and starch) and 30-35% of the vegetable fats. 100 grams of bitter (dark) chocolate contains about 540 calories and milk chocolate contains – 565 calories. But the most calorific is the cocoa-powder free white chocolate (618 calories for 100 grams) that contains only cocoa oil that is a fatty matter extracted from the cacao by the expression. However it doesn’t mean that the chocolate is not to be given to stout man and plump women. It is quite possible however in very limited amount (a very small piece of the bar).

… increases energy?

Yes as it is quite rich of sugar and fats and contains magnesium and potassium that are the two minerals necessary for the normal muscular and nervous systems functioning and finally it contains a small amount of protein too. Bitter chocolate contains a small amount of the iron (approximately 2 milligrams for every 100 grams). Consequently the chocolate intake is quite useful for the babies as well as more grown-up children involved in this or that sport activity as it provides energy without bringing any discomfort to the digestion.

… increases cholesterol production?

No. The chocolate really contains a lot of fat acids however only those that are considered to be useful and do not increase the bad cholesterol level (it is the cholesterol that deposits on the arteries walls when used in great amounts and thus cause heart diseases). Indeed fats are divided to saturated, polysaturated and monosaturated. The first of them contribute to the accumulation of the bad cholesterol; the second though are required by the body may decrease the amount of the good cholesterol when accumulated in large amount. The third ones reduce the amount of the of the bad cholesterol without any harm to useful one (that is called as the arteries cleaner as it cleans the blood vessels of the excessive deposits of the bad cholesterol).

… causes constipations?

No. The chocolate may cause quite versa laxative effect as it contains tannin that is the matter regulating the bowels functioning and contributing to the withdrawal of the slags from the body. This is the main cause why it shouldn’t be used within the stomach upset.

… troubles the digestion?

Yes and no. The chocolate is the product that doesn’t cause any acute digestion troubles. Thus it may be easily included into the child diet following just one term – you will not provide lots of it to your child. The only one exclusion is those children experiencing allergy. In such case it is better to wait when the child is already two years old as cocoa may become a cause of the appearing allergy and intolerance to the chocolate.

… destroys the teeth?

No. Vice versa it seems that cocoa powder has a feature preventing caries (demolishing of the teeth enamel), at least this is said in various researches of the Massachusetts Technology Institute (The United States) scientists. Naturally it relates to the bitter cocoa, as the sugar applied when producing chocolate sweets and bars is really harmful for teeth. In order to avoid its consequences it is enough to clean teeth after each time you ate something sweet. Children mostly prefer sweet taste of milk chocolate that also contains a small amount of the calcium that is quite useful for teeth and bones strengthening.

… causes a headache?

Yes, it is possible as the tannin contained in the chocolate (and also appearing in the red wine) may cause headache in people. The matter is the tannin is the pressor matter (that constricts the blood vessels thus causing headache). Naturally this problem commonly relates to adult and not the little children. Thus in case a mother may experience such condition she is better to choose a white chocolate that doesn’t contain any cocoa powder causing the ache but only cocoa oil mixed with the milk and sugar.

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