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Chocolate for thought

Chocolate brings sweet pleasure to millions of people around the world. We love it, and when we don’t have it, we crave it

 

 

Have you ever wondered why you crave chocolate? Is it because of the sweetness or the creaminess, or is it just the pleasure you get from eating it? Here are 10 things you need to know before you have your next chocolate.

 

  1. If you feel you need chocolate, you might be addicted to the high sugar content, especially if you like milk chocolate, which can have up to 48g of sugar per 100g.
  2. Chocolate is very high in kilojoules and can contain 40g to 50g of fat and 2 290kJ per 100g. This is because of the full-cream milk and the cocoa butter that is used to make chocolate. If your favourite chocolate bar has nuts in it the kilojoule count will be even higher.
  3. Chocolate contains 43mg of caffeine per 100g, which can give you a bit of a kick when you’re feeling tired, but too much caffeine in your diet can cause anxiety, an irregular heartbeat and sleeplessness.
  4. A lot of the chocolate found in supermarkets is mass-produced and not of very good quality. It has a low percentage of cocoa and is no more than chocolate-flavoured sweets.
  5. To reap the benefits of chocolate, like the antioxidants it contains and it’s potential to lower high blood pressure, you will have to eat at least 100g per day, but the recommended daily amount is only 10g (two squares).
  6. The best variety on the market is dark chocolate because it contains a high percentage of cocoa and high-quality cocoa butter. However, it’s much more expensive than milk chocolate.
  7. White chocolate is actually not considered chocolate, as it does not contain cocoa solids, but has only cocoa butter, which doesn’t have any of the benefits of the traditional milk chocolate.
  8. For the healthiest option, make sure you eat high-quality dark chocolate with at least 65% cocoa.
  9. Choose brands that have the Fairtrade Certification Mark to ensure the 14 million people working on cocoa farms in 30 developing countries share in the profit.
  10.  The sustainability of chocolate is also something to keep in mind. A cacao tree starts producing beans only four years after it’s planted, and it takes 400 beans to produce 450g of chocolate. Cadbury alone produces 700 blocks of chocolate per minute. If we don’t ensure there are enough cacao trees to keep up with the rate at which we produce chocolate, we might deprive future generations of this feel-good sweet treat.
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