Food lovers know it well, not all chocolates are created equal. One thing is certain: we have appreciated this delicacy since the dawn of time. The oldest evidence for the use of cocoa beans is in fact between 1,100 and 1,400 BC in Latin America.
1. White chocolate does not contain cocoa
It is not chocolate who wants. “Chocolate”, “milk chocolate”, “white chocolate”… each has a strictly regulated composition, with very different percentages of cocoa depending on the type of product.
- the dark chocolate contains a mixture of sugar and at least 35% cocoa, of which at least 18% is in the form of cocoa butter.
- the milk chocolate contains at least 25% cocoa mass and cocoa butter, as well as milk, usually in powder form, and sugars.
- the White chocolate is made exclusively from cocoa butter, so it is cocoa free. It also contains dairy products, sugar and generally a vanilla flavor.
- The cocoa paste where the cocoa butter are extracted from the fermented cocoa bean, then roasted and crushed.
2. Cocoa is good for you
Antioxidant, good for morale … the most gourmet do not fail to highlight the health benefits of chocolate. Yes, but to benefit from it, you have to look at its cocoa content. The higher it is, the greater the antioxidant action of chocolate: the protective polyphenols indeed come from the cocoa bean. Ditto for anti-stress minerals (magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, iron).
Rich in powerful antioxidants
Flavonols, one of the families of polyphenols, are antioxidants powerful who have a anti-inflammatory action. The antioxidant action of the cocoa bean is even superior to that of other plants.
Thanks to its flavonols, the cocoa has a vasodilator effect. By promoting the dilation of blood vessels, it helps to lower blood pressure.
Good for cardiovascular health and cognitive function
These different combined effects of cocoa, antioxidant and vasodilator, help to reduce cardiovascular risk (heart attack, stroke, cholesterol…).
The beneficial action of flavonol on the blood vessels is also favorable to the good brain function. Beneficial to cardiovascular health, cocoa therefore also acts on cognitive function, by particularly stimulating memory.
An anti-stress food
Chocolate brings magnesium and some serotonin, two elements involved in psychic well-being. It doesn’t have the potency of an antidepressant drug, but it helps resist stress and regain a feeling of relaxation. So the unsweetened cocoa powder contains on average more than 500 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams of product. More chocolate is rich in cocoa, the more it fights stress and improves mood.
The French Association of Dietitians-Nutritionists (AFDN) confirms the importance of the cocoa content: “To fully benefit from the nutritional benefits of chocolate, it must be chosen dark, and as rich as possible in cocoa (at least 70%). . “
A consequence that will not please fans of white chocolate: containing only cocoa butter, it has none of the health benefits attributed to “real” chocolate, that containing cocoa.
3. Chocolate remains a caloric food
Because chocolate contains sugar and fat, it is still a food to be consumed moderately: 20 g maximum per day, or two squares. Its caloric intake is important: about 500 calories per 100 g.
4. There is an unroasted chocolate: raw chocolate
He has been talking about him for a few years, he is the raw chocolate. The cocoa bean is not roasted, but simply crushed. Its manufacturing process is done at low temperature (less than 45 ° C), which allows all the nutritional qualities of cocoa to be preserved.
Results: a much stronger taste and a very different texture. Less soft, but more crunchy.
It is found in the form of small bars (the equivalent of three squares) in organic stores and delicatessens.
5. Chocolate confectionery is not “real” chocolate
As you can see, in “real” chocolate, there is cocoa (at least 25%). Bars, candies, dragees… all these chocolate confectionery, which children like so much, contain very little cocoa, but are full of sugar and vegetable fats rich in saturated fatty acids.