September 30, 2004
For those inclined to do a little more 'light reading' 😎 here's some references that may be of interest to you on this topic:
Cocoa inhibits platelet activation and function.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000
Chocolate improves blood flow, reduced clot formation. European Society of Cardiology (abstract P638) 2004
Cocoa drinks increase nitric oxide, relaxes blood vessels. Journal of Hypertension, 2003
Chocolate lowers systolic blood pressure. JAMA, 2003
Cocoa antioxidants and cardiovascular health. JAMA 2005
Not all chocolate created equal…secret to preserving potential heart healthy benefits of chocolate. Dr. Harold Schmitz, PhD, 2005
Cocoa polyphenols and inflammatory mediators. JAMA 2005
Dark chocolate, cocoa powder good news for cholesterol. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Nov 2001
Chocolate and calcium decreases fat absorption. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2001
Antioxidants in chocolate. Lancet 1996
Inhibition of LDL oxidation by cocoa. Lancet 1996
Dark chocolate improves endothelial function in healthy adults. Medscape 2004
The heart health benefits of chocolate unveiled. Cleveland Clinic Heart Center
August 6, 2006
Sebastians references looks interesting but a bit demanding. Why not try this link to a few articles about chocolate and health.
"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
November 22, 2004
September 30, 2004
Chocolate also contains cannabinoid like substances (similiar to the materials found in marijuana). Researchers have suggested that ingesting large amounts of chocolates high in this material would relax blood vessels; however after doing so they couldn't remember what the results were 😉
April 29, 2004
September 30, 2004
Sorry about the previous blank post.
In response to the poster with the low HDL and elevated Triglycerides, this is typically a genetic problem, however, also frequently accompanies diabetes and or obesity. As others have pointed out, chocolate should not be expected to have a negative effect on this lipid profile. Typically, a high carbohydrate, low fat diet will elevate triglycerides though weight loss and aerobic exercise can inprove both parameters. If it is a genetic problem, it would take medication to correct.
As an aside, the antioxidants absorbed from chocolate will only be available for 2-3 hours before being "used up". A strategy to derive greater benefit from your chocolate, and one that native cultures have used for millenia, would be to consume small amounts of chocolate throughout the day. I personally do this and felt noticeably better once I started doing so. I generally eat 90-100% cocoa content so as to avoid sucrose consumption throughout the day, but occasionally will indulge in a 70%. I recently tried El Rey's Icoa white chocolate which was easily the best piece of candy I've ever had.
September 5, 2004
there was a tv program on choc last year in french looking at the sicentific reasons why people like chocolate
i am afraid they could not find any that stack up apart from... it tastes good
For example, the female cravings were dismissed as 1) the amount of choc to eat to have an effect on magnesium would be huge 2)spinach contains a hell of a lot more it it and who has ever heard women craving for spinach!
April 10, 2005
This may be a simple question, but I have had difficulty finding the answer through searching the Internet. Is the caloric content of dark chocolate relatively constant, or does it vary depending on the maker? The different makers do not list calories on their websites. I want to continue to enjoy dark chocolate, but need to limit my calorie intake. Thanks.
September 30, 2004
It'll vary. Some dark chocolates contain only 30% fat, some will be as high as 45%. Fat is the most caloric ingredient in the chocolate. Generally speaking, the higher quality chocolates will have more fat in them. I wouldn't let that steer you away from them, I'd simply recommend consuming less of the 'better' chocolates at any given sitting.
August 1, 2006
True, it will vary but generally not by too great of an amount. I find that the difference is usually by 25-50 calories per 100g of chocolate. Some beans naturally have different fat levels too, and some brands will add extra cocoa butter, both of which will affect calorie and fat content. A lot of brands will actually list nutrition content of each bar while some might not.
Domori lists this label on their 75g bars. And to get an idea of how much fat and calorie contents can vary, consider this:
For every 100g of Domori's 100%, there are 571 calories and 53.2g fat. For every 100g of Madagascar 70% and Carupano 70%, there are 555 calories and 41.9g of fat. The major difference is fat, but that's due to the 100%'s naturally higher amount of cocoa soilds.
Now, consider this discrepency:
For every 100g of Valrhona's Le Noir Amer 71%, there are 575 calories and 42.5g of fat, and for every 100g of the Le Noir Extra Amer 85%, there are 625 calories and 50g of fat.
The interesting thing here is that Valrhona adds extra cocoa butter, whereas Domori does not, but quality of beans is still high for both. And Valrhona does make unsweetened chocolate, and that has 54g of fat per 100g of chocolate, which is not too far off from Domori's 53.2g. Also of interest is Plantations 100% chocolate, which is made from Arriba cacao. It's approximately 45% fat, which is a huge difference from the 53.2% of Domori, so it's quite apparent that bean type plays a role too.
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