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Should Diabetics Eat Chocolate?
Globally, more than 5.5 million tons of chocolate are consumed each year in the form of bars or other confectionary. Much of this consumption occurs in Europe and North America, where large middle-class populations have higher disposable incomes than elsewhere.
The Swiss are the most gluttonous. In 2012, they consumed 11.9 kg per capita. Considering that an average bar of chocolate contains 42.5 grams of chocolate, this means that each Swiss consumes the equivalent of 280 bars of chocolate a year, or more than three-quarters of bars every day.
The Irish are the second largest eaters, consuming 9.9kg (232 bar) per capita, followed by the UK at 9.5kg per capita. The per capita diet in other Western European countries is between 6 and 9 kg. In Canada, consumption is 6.4 kg per person per year. The United States is not number one this time, with per capita annual consumption of only 5.5 kg (129 bar), less than half that of Switzerland.
With the exception of Western countries and Russia (5.9 kg per capita per year), much less chocolate is consumed. China’s per capita annual consumption is only 1.2 kg, while India’s per capita consumption is only 0.7 kg.
Annual global chocolate consumption is growing at an average annual rate of 3%. This trend looks set to continue. If eating too much chocolate is bad for your health, crisis is clearly looming.
Types of chocolate
chocolate is made from seeds cocoa tree, a tropical tree that has been cultivated in Mexico and Central America for at least three thousand years. Today, however, the main growing area is in West Africa, where more than 70% of the world’s crops are grown.
The seeds are contained in pods that hang from the cocoa tree, and the pods are harvested by chopping them down with a machete. The pods are opened and the beans inside, along with the pulp around them, are removed and placed in piles or bins, where they are allowed to ferment. Cocoa seeds have a strong bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the chocolate flavor.
After fermentation, the cocoa beans are dried, washed and roasted, and the shells are removed to extract the cocoa nibs.Nibs are ground up and liquefied to create chocolate liquor, pure chocolate in liquid form. This liquid can be further processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Other ingredients, such as sugar, milk or powdered milk, and vanilla are added to produce a range of chocolates of varying sweetness and flavor.
sugar free chocolateis also called bitter or baking chocolate, is pure chocolate liquor. It contains no sugar or other added ingredients, and the pure, ground, roasted chocolate chips impart a rich, rich chocolate flavor.
dark chocolate It is made by adding fat and sugar to chocolate liquor. milk chocolate Contains chocolate liquor, sugar, milk powder or condensed milk and vanilla. White chocolate Made with cocoa butter, sugar, milk powder or condensed milk and vanilla, but without cocoa solids.
In addition to unsweetened chocolate, there are two other types of baking chocolate. semisweet chocolate It’s a dark chocolate with some added sugar. Bittersweet Chocolate A chocolate liquor with added sugar, extra cocoa butter, and vanilla. It has less sugar and more alcohol than semi-sweet chocolate.
Development of chocolate products
Chocolate has been consumed as a drink throughout its nearly 3,000-year history. It wasn’t until the end of the 18th century that the first solid chocolate came out.
This xocolatl The drink of the Mayans and Aztecs was a bitter, frothy drink, usually flavored with herbs, chiles, and achiote (a coloring agent). It is used for ceremonial purposes, at banquets and as an everyday drink.
Chocolate was first shipped to Spain in 1585. Europeans added cane sugar to neutralize the natural bitterness, removed chili peppers, kept vanilla, and added spices such as cinnamon. Chocolate became popular as a drink in Europe, although only royalty and the rich could afford it.
At the end of the 18th century, the first solid chocolate was invented in Italy. In the Netherlands in 1828, Coenraad Johannes van Houten patented a process for extracting fat from cocoa beans and making cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Van Houten also developed dutch craft Chocolate is treated with alkali to remove bitterness. These developments made possible the modern chocolate bar.
In 1839, Jordan & Timaeus in Germany sold the first known bar of chocolate. It is made from cocoa, sugar and goat’s milk. In the UK, JS Fry & Sons discovered a way to mix some cocoa butter back into “Dutched” chocolate to make a moldable paste (with added sugar). The first English chocolate bar was made in 1847. In 1849, the Cadbury brothers joined the trend.
In Switzerland, after experimenting with milk, Daniel Peter brought the first milk chocolate bar to market in 1875. To prevent mold, he had to find a way to remove the moisture from the milk, which he did with the help of his neighbor Henri Nestlé, a manufacturer of baby food.
rudolf lind invention refining, a process that involves heating and grinding the chocolate solids very finely to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. This allowed Milton Hershey to make chocolate more popular by mass producing reasonably priced bars.
Today, van Houten, JS Fry & Sons, Cadburys, Nestlé and Lindt are all well-known chocolate brands.
what does chocolate contain
Chocolate is an energy-rich food. Raw chocolate is rich in cocoa butter, a fat that is removed during conching and then added back in varying proportions during manufacturing.
Chocolate makers who use harvested cocoa beans to make chocolate may add other fats, sugar and milk powder to produce the finished product Sugar crust chocolate.
chocolatier The finished sugar crust is used to make chocolate bars, truffles, Easter eggs and other chocolate products, which are usually filled with high-energy fillings such as nuts, candied fruit and various high-fat creams and/or sugar.
All plain chocolate (without the filling) contains a lot of fat: 52% in unsweetened baking chocolate, 43% in dark chocolate, 32% in white chocolate, and 31% in milk chocolate. In all cases, more than 50 percent of this fat was saturated fat. Fat is what people with type 2 diabetes need to avoid.
Diabetics also have questions about the sugar content of chocolate. Only unsweetened chocolate contains almost no sugar. White chocolate has a sugar content of nearly 60%, milk chocolate 54%, and dark chocolate 24%. In other words, a large bar of chocolate contains more sugar than you should be consuming in a day.
These fat and sugar figures are averages and will vary between chocolate makers, depending on the amount of cocoa butter and other ingredients they add to the chocolate mass.
All the bad things you could possibly think. Actually you are right. However, chocolate is also known to contain tons of good stuff.
The protein content in solid chocolate ranged from 13 percent for unsweetened baking chocolate to 9 grams for milk chocolate, 8 grams for dark chocolate, and 6 grams for white chocolate.
Chocolate is not a significant source of vitamins, but some chocolates are rich in minerals. For example, dark chocolate is a good source of iron, copper and manganese, while white chocolate contains high amounts of calcium and phosphorus.
Chocolate contains alkaloids such as theobromine (mood enhancer), phenylethylamine and caffeine (stimulant).
positive health effects
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is said to have many positive health effects. However, most of these assertions are based on laboratory tests and chemical analyzes of chocolate and are not supported by clinical trials using human subjects.
However, some research suggests that eating chocolate may help lower blood pressure (albeit not by much) and the risk of several cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular consumption of small amounts of dark chocolate has been linked to a lower risk of heart attack. Heart attack survivors who ate chocolate three or more times a week reduced their risk of death threefold compared with survivors who ate no chocolate, a study found.
Chocolate can also improve blood circulation. In a Swiss study, 20 smokers ate 40 grams of chocolate each. Two hours later, echograms showed that dark chocolate with at least 74 percent cocoa significantly improved blood flow.
In the test tube, cocoa exhibited antioxidant activity that can reduce the formation of free radicals, thereby preventing the development of cancer. However, this effect of eating chocolate has not been proven in human trials.
Dark chocolate may lower cholesterol levels in adults. One study of long-term consumption showed an 11% increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol. However, it is unclear whether consuming large amounts of dark chocolate and cocoa changes LDL cholesterol levels.
Some people believe that chocolate can improve cognitive performance. This may be because it acts as a mild stimulant due to the presence of caffeine and theobromine. These alkaloids are only found in cocoa solids, so white chocolate won’t help you think better because it doesn’t contain cocoa solids.
Although the clinical evidence (based on human trials) on the health effects of chocolate is fairly weak, a lot of research is still being done.
negative health effects
Chocolate can have a variety of negative health effects. For example, it can lead to obesity, heartburn, migraines, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and lead poisoning.
The fat content of 100g of chocolate ranges from 52g for unsweetened chocolate to 31g for a milk chocolate bar. And more than 50% of this fat is saturated fat. There is no doubt that this high fat content increases the risk of obesity, arterial disease and diabetes.
Chocolate may also be a cause of heartburn because theobromine relaxes the esophageal sphincter, which allows acid from the stomach to pass into the esophagus.
Chocolate is one of the three C’s identified as a migraine trigger (the other two are cheese and citrus fruit). Additionally, chocolate and cocoa contain moderate to high amounts of oxalates, which can easily bind calcium, which can lead to kidney stones. Studies of older adults suggest that chocolate may be a cause of osteoporosis.
Chocolate absorbs lead from the environment during its production, and some types of chocolate may cause mild lead poisoning. However, lead concentrations in chocolate are well below the 200,000 nanograms, which is the WHO (World Health Organization) tolerable daily limit for lead intake. A nanogram is one-thousandth of a gram.
On top of that, there is some evidence that chocolate can be addictive.
Should Diabetics Eat Chocolate?
The short answer is no…chocolate has so much fat and sugar in it, it might seem at first glance that a person with type 2 diabetes should never eat chocolate.
However, dark chocolate has been promoted for two seemingly genuine health benefits. It contains high amounts of antioxidants that reduce the formation of free radicals and thus may help prevent cancer. Same kind of chocolate has been shown to benefit cardiovascular health. In one study, regular consumption of small amounts of dark chocolate was associated with a lower risk of heart attack.
In my opinion, if you eat just one square (one-eighth of a chocolate bar) of dark chocolate a day, the sheer amount of fat and sugar you consume (in grams) won’t have a serious impact on your insulin sensitivity . Therefore, it is okay to eat a small piece of dark chocolate every day to take advantage of its putative antioxidant and cardiovascular benefits.
But milk chocolate and white chocolate are different. These are a complete no-no if you really want to beat diabetes.
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