Remember that dark chocolate is made from cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar and usually lecithin (which can replace the cocoa butter).
Nutritional values of chocolate
By studying the various macronutrients that make up the chocolate and its content, you can see what they bring in a daily diet, and what role they can play in the functioning of our body.
Dark chocolate pastry or natural chocolate bar with 40% cocoa content
Per 100 g.
Energy (kcal): 498
Protein (g): 6.4
Fat (g): 30.4
Carbohydrates (g): 49.6
Fiber (g): 7.5
Water (g): 0.5
Micronutrients (g): 5.6
Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa
Per 100 g.
Energy (kcal): 545
Protein (g): 8.1
Fat (g): 42.3
Carbohydrates (g): 33.0
Fiber (g): 10.9
Water (g): 0.6
Micronutrients (g): 5.1
Proteins contained in chocolate are in the form of cocoa paste, and although its content is small, it contributes to the overall daily intake of protein.
Chocolate contains lipids and fat. They come from the cocoa butter content in the cocoa paste. The amount of lipids and fatty acids in the chocolate will vary depending on the percentage of cocoa butter and the presence or absence of milk. Cholesterol is most abundant in animal fats, thus cocoa butter, which because of its plant origin contains very little amout of it.
In dark chocolate, the content of cholesterol is lower because it does not contain milk. Other fats in chocolate are the phytosterols which help to reduce blood cholesterol.
Carbohydrates in the dark chocolate come from the added sugar in the recipe (dark chocolate with 70% cocoa contains 30% sugar) and cocoa mass which is also part of it.
Most types of chocolates have a low glycemic index, but dark chocolate has the lowest (GI = 30).
Thus, chocolate is not necessarily an unbalanced food causing diabetes. In reasonable quantities, it is a sweet treat allowed for everybody and diabetics too after a meal. To avoid problems and if you are not sure if you can consume chocolate safely, please see with your doctor or dietitian.
Fiber, minerals, antioxidants …
Dark chocolate that contains cocoa mass, is also rich in nutrients: polyphenols, magnesium (206 mg/100 g), fiber (11 g/100 g), phenylethylamine …
Thus, the dark chocolate is rich in fiber as 100 g provide an average of 7.5 to 11 g, 2.1 g for milk chocolate, and 0.4 g for white chocolate. You should know that the recommended fiber intake per day is 30-35 g.
High content of minerals
Magnesium is involved in the functioning of the nervous system and muscle contraction. Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa is rich in magnesium as 100 g provide 206 mg, which represents at least 30% of the RDA (recommended dietary allowances).
Excess salt promotes high blood pressure, its daily consumption is limited to 6 g. The amount of salt intake from chocolate, appears negligible as 20 g dark chocolate with 70% cocoa content provides 3.6 mg salt and 8.6 mg of sodium for a pastries of chocolate with 40% cocoa.
Copper is involved in the formation of hemoglobin and immune mechanisms and have anti-infection properties, it is antioxidant and plays an important role in the body. It is interesting that the quantity in 20 g. dark chocolate with 70% cocoa is providing 14% of the recommended nutrient intake of copper.
Chocolate is also rich in potassium, which intervenes in the prevention of hypertension and stroke, but also in that of osteoporosis.
And the healthy qualities of dark chocolate does not stop there! Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa also contains iron, zinc, selenium and contributes to ANC, but in a smaller proportion than the micronutrients mentioned above.
High Antioxidants content
Dark chocolate is so interesting from a nutritional point of view, especially if it is rich in cocoa paste, because it then contains a large amount of polyphenols, which has an antioxidant properties.
The dark chocolate contains tannins, which are part of the polyphenols, including in particular the flavanols (epicatechin, catechin, procyanidin …). These are molecules that have an antioxidant action (as measured by the ORAC method): they fight against free radicals that may cause tissue damage and lead to cardiovascular disease. Participating with 13 to 20% of polyphenols in daily intake, dark chocolate protects the cardiovascular system.
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