Selasa, 31 Juli 2012

Choosing Healthy Chocolate

Let's face it. We're all going to eat chocolate. But you don't have to feel 
guilty! Chocolate is actually good for's all the things added to it 
that are the problem. Here's how you can choose delicious healthy 
chocolates to enjoy anytime.

Health Benefits

The gift of chocolate to a beloved as a token of love is more than just 
tradition. Naturally-occurring compounds in chocolate produce that mild 
euphoria of being in love and contribute to enjoyable interpersonal 
relations by elevating mood and enhancing sensory perception.

Beyond good feelings, chocolate benefits the body in many ways. In 
moderation, chocolate can contribute to heart health, help you live 
longer, suppress a chronic cough, and add needed magnesium to your 
diet. Chocolate even contains a high level of chromium, which can help 
control blood sugar.

Health Problems

While chocolate itself is fine to eat, there are some substances present 
in chocolate products that you should watch out for.

Most chocolate products contain tremendous amounts of refined white 
sugar, which is harmful to health in many ways.

Chocolate may also contain pesticides. The EPA allows various levels of 
pesticide residue to be present in cocoa powder, and the FDA Total Diet 
Study found them in many chocolate products.

Many chocolates also contain the toxic metals cadminum and lead. 
"Significant levels" of these metals were found in 68% of the common 
chocolate products tested. There is no safe level for lead, and it is 
particularly harmful to children.

Healthy Chocolate Choices

Here are some guidelines for choosing the healthiest chocolates.

1. Choose chocolates with the least amount of refined white sugar or 
other sweetener. Dark "bittersweet" chocolates with a high percentage 
of cocoa solids (usually the label will state the exact percentage) have 
less sugar than semisweet or milk chocolate and also have the greatest 
health benefits. Keep in mind that flavor additions, such as dried fruits 
and candied ginger may also add sugar to the chocolate.

2. Choose chocolates sweetened with evaporated cane juice or barley 
malt. If the evaporated cane juice used is the unprocessed whole juice 
of the cane, it acts in the body like a whole food and doesn't give a 
sugar rush. Barley malt is also a slow-release sweetener, noted on the 
label as "grain-sweetened."

3. Choose organic chocolates. Certified organic chocolate ensures there 
are no harmful pesticide residues.

4. Make your own chocolates. It's easy to make many chocolate delights 
yourself, with the exact ingredients you want. Start with unsweetened 
cocoa powder or baking chocolate and be creative!

5. Choose quality over quantity. If you are going to eat chocolate, eat 
really good chocolate. Then, for maximum enjoyment, give the taste of 
the chocolate your full attention, eat it at a time when you are not 
famished or overly full, and allow the chocolate to melt in your mouth to 
make the experience last.

So go ahead and enjoy chocolate, in moderation, as part of an 
otherwise healthy diet,

Kamis, 12 Juli 2012

Interesting Chocolate Statistics

Just about everyone loves the sweet temptation of chocolate. Here are some intriguing statistics and facts:

1. The average American eats 10-12 pounds (4.5 kg) of chocolate a year. The average Swiss eats 21 pounds a year.

2. Chocolate is the food most commonly craved by women, but can contribute significantly to bulimia, obesity, and binge eating.

3. Several medical studies show that eating chocolate in moderation can actually prolong your life by reducing risk of blood clots and fighting bad cholesterol.

4. It is not physically addictive and does not cause acne, as shown in several medical studies.

5. Chocolate is not high in caffeine. A 1oz bar of milk chocolate contains only 5-6mg of caffeine. This is significantly less than in coffee, tea, and soft drinks.

6. Chocolates can absorb other flavors and scents, and should be kept away from other household chemicals.

7. It can be frozen for up to six months. It is best to seal it in a zip lock bag before freezing.

8. In general, the shelf life is a year. Chocolate that is refrigerated may not melt as readily. Thus it is best to store it in cool dry areas 55-60 degrees F.

9. U.S. manufacturers use 3.5 million pounds of whole milk every day to make chocolate.

10. The largest candy bar ever made weighed over 5,000 pounds and was made in Italy in 2000. The largest slab of fudge was over 2,000 pounds and was made in Canada.

11. Children are more likely to prefer chocolate when they reach 10-11 years old than when they are younger.

12. Chocolate is America's favorite flavor, according to recent surveys with a little over 50% of adults preferring chocolate to other flavors.