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Is dark chocolate healthy? (+ healthy chocolate recipes!)

  1. Every so often it is written in large letters in the newspaper: chocolate is healthy! It actually helps you lose weight! And it prevents cardiovascular disease! Yet for many people chocolate is still a guilty pleasure, and there are even people who have a â € chocolate addictionâ € ™

  1. So what about those spectacular research results? Is dark chocolate healthy, or rather â € less unhealthyâ € ™? And what does that mean for that chocolate addiction? We put all the information together in this blog!

Is cocoa healthy?

  1. Sources that call dark chocolate healthy usually base this mainly on the most important ingredient: cocoa. The most diverse advantages are attributed to this. How many of them are indeed present?

  1. Cocoa is rich in a certain class of antioxidants called flavanols. They have all kinds of advantages: they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and they fight inflammation. Also, some studies suggest they can help against oxidative damage and insulin resistance, for example.

  2. Cocoa is rich in a certain class of antioxidants called flavanols. They have all kinds of advantages: they lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and they fight inflammation. Also, some studies suggest they can help against oxidative damage and insulin resistance, for example.

  1. Cocoa is also rich in other useful nutrients. It is packed with magnesium, copper and iron. It is also higher in protein than many people think, at about 19 grams of protein per 100 grams, and provides a whopping 34 grams of fiber.

  1. You often hear that cocoa would improve your mood. It is true that cocoa contains tryptophan and endocannabinoids, which are good for your mood. The problem is: the quantities are so small that you don't really notice any effect. Unfortunately, this advantage does not apply!

  2. You often hear that cocoa would improve your mood. It is true that cocoa contains tryptophan and endocannabinoids, which are good for your mood. The problem is: the quantities are so small that you don't actually notice any effect. Unfortunately, this advantage does not apply!

Cocoaâ € ¦ and sugar

  1. All in all, we can say that cocoa has quite a few health benefits to offer. Does that also make chocolate healthy right away? Unfortunately it is not that easy. After all, chocolate also contains other ingredients â € “which are unfortunately not always equally responsible.

  2. All in all, we can say that cocoa has quite a few health benefits to offer. Does that also make chocolate healthy right away? Unfortunately, it is not that easy. After all, chocolate also contains other ingredients â € “which are unfortunately not always equally responsible.

  1. The main problem is of course sugar. Usually, the less cocoa a chocolate bar contains, the more sugar it contains. Milk chocolate therefore provides few benefits from cocoa, and many disadvantages from sugar. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, has more benefits and fewer drawbacks.

Is dark chocolate healthy?

  1. So is dark chocolate healthy? Yes â € “with a few small catches. Chocolate can already be called â € ˜pureâ € ™ from 54% cocoa solids. So there is still a lot of room for sugar… It is best to choose chocolate with at least 80% cocoa.

  1. Even then, it is still better not to eat too much of it. Chocolate is also relatively rich in saturated fats, and usually contains some sugar. 10 to 20 grams of dark chocolate is enough to enable the benefits of the flavanols; you better not eat much more than that!

  2. Even then it is still the case that it is better not to eat too much of it. Chocolate is also relatively rich in saturated fats, and usually contains some sugar. 10 to 20 grams of dark chocolate is enough to enable the benefits of the flavanols; you better not eat much more than that!

Lose weight with dark chocolate?

  1. Now it is often said that you can lose weight with dark chocolate. Unfortunately, that is a bit short-sighted. You never lose weight from a single food item. You lose weight because you eat fewer calories in total than you consume, regardless of the source of those calories.

  1. In short, you can lose weight with a regular portion of dark chocolate - if the rest of your diet does not contain too many calories. It should be noted, however, that chocolate is relatively high in calories, so it may not be the best choice to eat a lot of it regularly!

Is there a chocolate addiction?

  1. All in all, we can say: dark chocolate has certain health benefits, but you shouldn't overdo it with consumption. Unfortunately, moderating chocolate is not easy for everyone. Some people even claim to have a real chocolate addiction.

  2. All in all, we can say: dark chocolate has certain health benefits, but you should not overdo it with consumption. Unfortunately, moderating chocolate is not easy for everyone. Some people even claim to have a real chocolate addiction.

  1. The good news: a real addiction is not possible with chocolate. That would only be possible if chocolate were to stimulate the reward center in your brain to such an extent that you would eventually not be able to live without it. That is not the case.

  2. The good news: a real addiction is not possible with chocolate. That would only be possible if chocolate were to stimulate the reward center in your brain to such an extent that you ultimately could not live without it. That is not the case.

  1. Yes, chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, which makes you happy. However, these are very small amounts, so you would have to eat tens of kilos of chocolate to notice the effect. Moreover, endorphins are unable to make your brain really dependent, as is the case with drugs, for example. So no addiction.

How can you eat less chocolate?

  1. Yet many people do eat way too much chocolate, without really wanting to. This is more due to a so-called 'emotional addiction'. For example, you associate chocolate with comfort, so eat it whenever you feel bad. That can almost feel like an addiction!

  1. Do you want to eat less chocolate? Then you will have to identify the emotions that cause that huge pull. Then try to consciously address those emotions in a different way.

  1. For example, take a hot shower if you feel like sugar or chocolate, brush your teeth, make a good pot of tea, go for a walk in the woods, nibble on a piece of liquorice, etc. There are plenty of things you can do. In this way you eventually break the mental link with chocolate.

Healthy Chocolate Recipes

  1. And of course it really doesn't hurt to enjoy a nice portion of chocolate every now and then. If you like to do that in a responsible way, then the five recipes below are definitely something for you!

  1. For these chocolate / date bars you don't need more than a food processor and 120 grams of pitted dates, 50 grams of nut mix (unsalted), 2 tablespoons of honey and 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Pit the dates (if not already done) and then chop them into smaller pieces. Then grind the nut mix in the food processor and add the dates, honey and cocoa powder.

  1. Add coconut or other seasonings if you like. Mix everything together well. Mix well, pour into a tin with parchment paper to a layer one to two cm deep and put in the freezer for half an hour (or slightly longer in the refrigerator). VoilÃ, you have your own chocolate / date bars!

  1. First soak 7 pitted dates in lukewarm water and let it stand for about 10 minutes. Then heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a saucepan. Put 400 grams of black beans in a colander and let it drain well. Put the black beans, dates, 1 teaspoon vanilla aroma, 2 tablespoons honey, 5 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder and coconut oil in the blender and make it smooth.

  1. Pour everything into a baking tin (greased) and then bake for 25 minutes at 175 degrees or until the brownie is dry inside, and you're done! Let them cool down or eat them immediately while they are still warm! You can keep the brownies for about 5 days. Enjoy your meal!

  1. Puree a large ripe banana, an avocado, 2 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder and 100 ml of almond milk in the food processor. Optionally, you can add more cocoa to taste if you like dark chocolate mousse. If you like it sweet, you can also add a dash of honey. Serve the chocolate mousse with grated coconut or red fruit, for example.

  1. For these healthy truffles you only need 3 ingredients, namely 250 grams of dark chocolate (> 70% cocoa), 2 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder and 1 avocado. First melt the half of the chocolate (125 grams) of chocolate in a pan and add the pulp of the avocado. Mix everything up well so that you don't have any lumps left. Let it come to room temperature.

  1. Meanwhile, roughly chop the other half of the chocolate and stir it into the chocolate / avocado mixture. Put it in the fridge for about 60 minutes. Make nice balls of the mixture and roll them in a bowl through the cocoa powder. Enjoy, but eat in moderation!

  1. Heat 250 ml almond milk and add 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla extract. The chocolate is now slightly bitter, so those with a sweet tooth can add a dash of honey. Let it heat up without letting it boil, and serve piping hot!

  1. You can also find more healthy chocolate recipes on our FitChef platform. Perfect for indulging yourself now and then without snacking unhealthily!



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