What is the Best Chocolate?
Why You Should Be Choosey with Your Chocolate
Not all chocolate is created equal. Many factors can make or break the quality of a chocolate bar. From the type of chocolate to how it is sourced to the ingredients involved, the best chocolate must meet specific requirements to stand out from the rest.
In this article, we break down what makes the best chocolate treats out there, what to look for in quality chocolate, and why you should be choosey when it comes to consuming chocolate bars. And yes, you can enjoy your chocolate and be healthy, too.
Dark Vs. Milk Vs. White
Candy companies produce three varieties of chocolate: milk, white, and dark. Many fall into one camp or the other; however, there is a clear front-runner regarding health-boosting properties. Let’s look a little closer at the health implications of each type.
White Chocolate – This type of chocolate is made from cocoa butter, and it doesn’t actually contain any cocoa solids, which give chocolate its rich flavor and dark color. As such, white chocolate doesn’t have any of the health benefits, like antioxidants, associated with other chocolates containing cocoa solids.
Milk Chocolate – While it contains some cocoa solids, it also contains milk and sugar. This variety has more fat and sugar than you will find in dark chocolate and less antioxidant-containing cocoa solids.
Dark Chocolate – This is the healthiest form of chocolate to enjoy because it is lower in sugar and contains higher levels of antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds. The larger the percentage, the more pure the chocolate. For example, a 90% dark chocolate bar is more pure than a 70% dark chocolate bar. However, 90% chocolate is too intense for many people, so there are other factors to consider when selecting the perfect chocolate bar.
The Power of Flavanols
Dark chocolate can attribute many of its health benefits to the flavanols it contains. Flavanols are naturally occurring compounds in cocoa that protect cells from free radicals. Additionally, flavanols also help lower blood pressure and inflammation, increase blood flow, manage cholesterol, and reduce the risk of blood clots.
Ethically Sourced or Not?
Most major candy companies do not get their cocoa through ethical sources. This has a negative impact on the communities where the cocoa is produced. When shopping for a high-quality chocolate bar, do a little extra research on how their cocoa is sourced. Their website should tell you where it comes from and the policies they adhere to to ensure the fair treatment of farmers.
What’s in a Bar?
First, you want to look at the percentage of cocoa in a bar. Dark chocolate should be at least 60% cocoa or higher. The higher the percentage, the more bitter and bold the flavor will be, so it is a matter of personal preference.
Next, look at the ingredients in the bar. Vegan chocolate bars don’t include high-caloric milk or cream. Also, look to see if it is gluten-free and non-GMO.
While dark chocolate on its own is packed with health-supporting properties, it is also an ideal carrier for functional ingredients like herbs and botanicals, thus making it possible for functional chocolate bars to address more specific health realities.
Functional Chocolate Company offers a range of delicious dark chocolate bars that address your most pressing health woes. From anxiety to pain, Functional Chocolate delivers soothing botanicals in a tasty chocolate treat.
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