Chocolate is one of the most common foods in today’s diet. It is a product with good organoleptic characteristics. However, not all its varieties are the same in terms of nutritional value. Therefore, it is important to know which is the healthiest chocolate.
When choosing a variety of chocolate it is important to consider the effects of sugar on the body. This nutrient is capable of increasing the risk of obesity. It also has a negative impact on many markers associated with metabolic health, as explained in an article published in the journal Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences.
However, it is not a good option to resort to those chocolates that add artificial sweeteners as a substitute for this carbohydrate. These substances are harmful to the intestinal microbiota. They are also associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance.
For this reason, the best strategy is to use chocolates with a higher proportion of cocoa. It is therefore a good idea to choose a product that contains at least 75% of this substance in its composition.
White chocolate, not healthy
Among the range of chocolate products we can find varieties with a poor cocoa content, which should not be included in this group. One example is white chocolate, which is mainly composed of butter and sugar.
It is a food of low nutritional value, whose regular consumption is counterproductive for the body. For this reason, its intake should be avoided as far as possible.
Another example is chocolate and nut creams. These are characterised by their content of industrial oils and refined sugar. They are foods with attractive organoleptic characteristics, but with low nutritional value. However, they are often too present in pantries, and children have access to them relatively easily.
Cocoa and its antioxidant capacity
Cocoa is a food that is characterized by its lipid and phytonutrient content. The latter have a high antioxidant capacity, according to a study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
The regular supply of this class of nutrients is essential in preventing cell ageing. In addition, they contribute to reducing the risk of premature death, as well as the probability of developing diseases in the medium and long term.
Bitter cocoa is one of the foods with the highest antioxidant capacity that can be found in nature. Together with coffee and red fruits, they should be present in any varied and balanced diet plan.
However, we should not confuse cocoa with chocolate, as the latter usually contains sugar in varying proportions in its composition. It is therefore essential to choose the variety that contains the least amount of carbohydrates.
Once we have chosen a suitable variety of chocolate, we can introduce it into the diet on a regular basis. It is a useful food for snacks, as it combines very well with certain types of fruit and with dairy products.
It is also useful when making desserts, although it is necessary to have quality ingredients to make them, and not to resort to large amounts of flour and sugar.