Chocolate and cocoa are under preliminary research to determine if consumption affects the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases or cognitive abilities.

Effects on health

Main articles : Health effects of chocolate

Chocolate may be a factor for heartburn in some people because one of its constituents, the obromine, may affect the oesophageal sphincter muscle, hence permitting stomach acidic contents to enter into the oesophagus. Theobromine is also toxic to some animals unable to metabolize it (see the obromine poisoning).

Excessive consumption of large quantities of any energy-rich food, such as chocolate, without a corresponding increase in activity to expend the associated calories, can increase the risk of weight gain and possibly obesity. Raw chocolate is high in cocoa butter, a fat which is removed during chocolate refining, then added back in varying proportions during the manufacturing process. Manufacturers may add other fats, sugars, and milk as well, all of which increase the caloric content of chocolate.

Chocolate and cocoa  contain moderate to high amounts of osxalate, which may increase risk for kidney stones. During cultivation and production, chocolate may absorb lead from the environment, but the total amounts typically eaten are less than the tolerable daily limit for lead consumption, according to a World Health Organization report from 2010. However, reports from 2014 indicate that “chocolate might be a significant source” of lead ingestion for children if consumption is high and “one 10 g cube of dark chocolate may contain as much as 20% of the daily lead oral limit.”

A few studies have documented allergic reactions from chocolate in children.

 Research

Chocolate and cocoa are under preliminary research to determine if consumption affects the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases or cognitive abilities.

Nutrition

A 100 gram serving of milk chocolate supplies 540 calories. It is 59% carbohydrates (52% as sugar and 3% as dietary fiber), 30% fat and 8% protein (table). Approximately 65% of the fat in milk chocolate is saturated, composed mainly of palmitic acid and stearic acid, while the predominant unsaturated fat is oleic acid (table, see USDA reference for full report).In 100 gram amounts, milk chocolate is an excellent source (> 19% of the Daily Value, DV) of riboflavin, vitamin B12 and the dietary minerals, manganese, phosphorus and zinc (table). Chocolate is a good source (10-19% DV) of calcium, magnesium and iron (table).

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