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Old 01-12-07, 06:59 PM   #1
CrossChain
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Cocoa vs. Chocolate

I've been putting a little pure cocoa powder (like you bake with) in my coffee and like it. Given that non-alkali processed chocolate, credited with some health attributes, also comes often wrapped in a fair amount of fat and sugar.....how does relatively pure cocoa powder compare for whatever health benefits chocolate carries?

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Old 01-12-07, 08:07 PM   #2
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Not sure about the processing affects on chocolate. Interesting question.

In the end, to determine how much beneficial stuff you've gotten from chocolate it depends on the total amt of the actual chocolate you ingest. For example, a 3oz bittersweet bar will have more total chocolate than a tablespoon of chocolate you put in your coffee. And, then, you have to decide how the fat and sugar in the bittersweet bar will factor into your over-nutrition. For someone riding 50+ miles per day, that little bit probably won't hurt and might be needed---depending on what else s/he eats.

That aside, yes, the a tablespoon of cocoa powder will be more "pure" than a tablesppon of chocolate in the beneficial stuff, simply because it pure chocolate, whereas a bar of chocolate will be basically cocoa diluted with fat and sugar.

BTW, I've been using cocoa powder + skim milk + honey to make hot chocolate for 20+ years. It's great stuff....the amount of honey I use is very little...it doesn't over-whelm you with sweetness...it just takes the edge off the pure cocoa...making the hot chocolate have that deeper dark chocolate flavor. And, if you use local honey, it supposedly is good for the immune system. You have to play around with the 'recipe'.

I recommend that for children, watch carefully the amt of chocolate you use. Don't use color...trust me...those kids will be wild after drinking hot chocolate if you use color to measure the amt of cocoa you use!
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Old 01-12-07, 08:33 PM   #3
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The cocoa contains the good stuff. That's why 'white' chocolate isn't good for you.
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Old 01-12-07, 11:08 PM   #4
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You really want the least processed cocoa beans. I would get high end 70 or 80% cocoa chocolate bars. It will taste better and will be better for you.
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Old 01-12-07, 11:12 PM   #5
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Not to be obsessed with fat content, but a few pieces of even those 80% cocoa chocolate bars carry around 18 grams, including a fair share of saturated, fat. Is the trade-off worth it?
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Old 01-12-07, 11:16 PM   #6
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Not to be obsessed with fat content, but a few pieces of even those 80% cocoa chocolate bars carry around 18 grams, including a fair share of saturated, fat. Is the trade-off worth it?
whats wrong with fat? it is only garbage fat that is bad for you.
natural sources of saturated fat lower colerteral levels not raise them.
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Old 01-13-07, 01:42 AM   #7
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Not to be obsessed with fat content, but a few pieces of even those 80% cocoa chocolate bars carry around 18 grams, including a fair share of saturated, fat. Is the trade-off worth it?
Cocoa butter is mainly stearic acid. While it's a saturated fat it doesn't affect blood cholesterol; it doesn't aid uptake/reabsorption, and it doesn't affect liver production. (http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/60/6/986S) Cocoa is very rich in flavonols, which are good for cardiovascular health.

Cacao itself is not sweet, in fact it's rather tart and bitter, and any sweetness comes from added sugar. The amount added depends on the manufacturer, and in fact many stores don't have any non-sweet or lightly sweetened bars at all. Same goes for fat; trans fats, palm oil and dairy fats are added for texture, consistency, mouth feel/melting, and to lighten the flavor.

The Dagoba Eclipse bars are excellent, and almost purely cacao (87%). Perfect with a glass of port. Their 74% bar is great, too, and a little lighter and sweeter. (Easier on the palate without being candy sweet.) For fat, all these bars use cocoa butter only.
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Old 01-13-07, 08:33 PM   #8
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what other "organic" or good for us chocolates is everyone eating? later.
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Old 01-14-07, 01:00 AM   #9
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You really want the least processed cocoa beans. I would get high end 70 or 80% cocoa chocolate bars. It will taste better and will be better for you.
Oh come on! It's really time to bury this chocolate snobbery and elitism!

NO chocolate is good for you, it's that simple. What tastes good or bad is really not something other people can decide for you. In my mouth, most things are extremely bitter, so high-cocoa chocolate is like chewing coffee powder to me. People are different, and like different things. Don't shove your opinion of what tastes good down someone else's throat!

I simply don't like it, and many more with me. In fact, amongst my friends and family, only a couple prefer the high-cocoa chocolate over normal milk chocolate. And they're all heavy coffee drinkers as well. Coffee is so bitter to me that I can't stand even a small sip (I can barely even stand it when coffee has been used in cakes), but they like coffee.

Finally, it's been shown to be a myth that high-cocoa chocolate makes you eat less chocolate in total, which has been the main argument from the proponents of the high-cocoa myth.

But a minority will always engage in snobbery and elitism, no matter what the subject is. They probably have a need for feeling special in some way. Just look at the different things here in the cycling world. You have your fixie snobs, retro steel snobs, Brooks saddle snobs, top-level equipment snobs and so on, ad nauseam...

My point is - try both kinds of chocolate and then eat what you prefer: one, the other or both kinds. Eat it in moderation, because neither kind is really good for you. But most importantly - don't choose one or the other based one someone else's opinion of what they think tastes good! Make up your own mind!
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Old 01-15-07, 05:04 PM   #10
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Hey CdCf, I just noticed your signature, which is the same as that of a new member who posts in Fifty+. Quite a coincidence! Which are you today?
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Old 01-16-07, 02:49 AM   #11
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Hehe, I'm the statue today, I think.
I have a big school project to finish, and I don't even have all the data I need yet...

Can't remember where I found that line, but it was only a week or so ago.
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