One of the most important characteristics of a diet is the respect of individual preferences regarding the taste and palatability of food. Chocolate is one of those pleasures you give up more reluctantly when starting a new diet. In reality, as we will see in this article, using a little common sense, it is possible to consume this food safely, reconciling it with the other foods included in the weekly diet plan.
Benefits Of Chocolate
The numerous compounds identified in cocoa, differing in chemical structure and biological activity, give this food important characteristics.
These characteristics are linked to the precious content of antioxidants( polyphenols ). In addition to slowing down the aging processes, these substances would even have the advantage of lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels . All these beneficial effects are the prerogative of dark chocolate since milk chocolate does not seem to have any practical impact in this sense.
Chocolate And Good Mood
The psychoactive effect, typical of any chocolate, is instead linked to the presence of small traces of alkaloids ( caffeine, theobromine, phenylethylamine) and serotonin (an important brain neurotransmitter ). The combination of these substances and improving mood and attention would be able to give a certain addiction. The so-called chocolate (the inability to give up this food just as if it were a drug) risks in many cases to miserably fail the food plan provided by the diet.
Chocolate also has a fair amount of fiber, vitamins ( tocopherols and vit. PP ), and minerals ( magnesium). Many people also attribute cocoa to a powerful aphrodisiac power.
Negative Aspects Of Chocolate
Among the numerous nutritional properties of chocolate, there is also a major defect linked to excessive caloric value.
|DARK CHOCOLATE||MILK CHOCOLATE|
As shown in the table, 100 grams of chocolate contain on average about 550 calories, which for a sedentary woman represents almost half of the daily energy requirement(just under 40%, see: calorie calculation ). Undoubtedly this is a very limiting aspect, especially for a person who does not carry out regular physical activity and needs few calories.
On the market, there are many types of chocolate, dark, milk, spreadable, white, with or without dried fruit, etc. From a nutritional point of view, we can say that the noble part of chocolate is given by cocoa and cocoa butter. At the same time, simple sugars and tropical oils (palm and palm kernel) represent the unwanted components. As for spreads, the percentage of hazelnuts can also be considered a nutritional quality factor.
|Lindt Excellence 90% Cocoa, Extra-Dark Bar||Nutella, Chocolate Spreadable Cream|
|Power||2483kJ / 592kcal||2273kJ / 544kcal|
|– of which saturated fatty acids||30g||10.9g|
|– of which sugars||7.0g||56.7g|
|Ingredients||Cocoa mass, cocoa butter, low-fat cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla.||Sugar (or sucrose), palm oil, hazelnuts (13%), low-fat cocoa (7.4%), skimmed milk powder (6.6%), whey powder, emulsifiers (soy lecithin), and vanillin.|
From the values shown in the table, the nutritional abyss between the two foods is evident:
- On average, commercial chocolate spreads (see Nutella ) are foods with a high glycemic index and load(because they are very rich in sugars), with high percentages of long-chain saturated fats from palm oil.
- Milk derivatives are also often present, and their particularly sweet and inviting taste often leads to consuming them in excess. These poor-quality products embody all the negative nutritional aspects of chocolate.
- In extra-dark chocolate bars with high cocoa percentages (70% and more), the content of simple sugars is much lower, and tropical oils are not normally found.
- While being particularly abundant, Saturated fatty acids are less atherogenic (lower percentages of palmitic acid and higher rates of stearic acid ).
- The bitter taste, moreover, tends to limit the consumption portions.
Due to these positive characteristics, dark chocolate does not cause tooth decay (but prevents it), is not involved in the appearance of pimples and acne, and guarantees a notable supply of flavonoid antioxidants.
Diet And Chocolate
For purely indicative purposes, we report the scheme of a possible diet for chocolate lovers from 1400-1600 calories per day.
Diet Day 1
Breakfast: hot cocoa with six ground almonds and two teaspoons of sugar + 3 rolls (40 g)
Snack: natural yogurt. skimmed
Lunch: pasta 80 grams + vegetables (150 g) + 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Snack: 50 g chocolate enhanced protein bar
Dinner: 1 tablespoon of olive oil + vegetables to taste + 150 g of chicken bosom
Diet Day 2
Breakfast: milk p. skimmed (400ml), whole grains wealthy in fiber cocoa taste (50g)
Snack: kiwi + 3nuts
Lunch: pasta 80 grams + salmon 100g + 1 tablespoon of olive oil + pureed tomatoes
Snack: 50-gram bar of additional dim cocoa
Dinner: 1 tablespoon of olive oil + vegetables to taste + 2 eggs
Diet Day 3
Breakfast: 2 vanilla and stracciatella yogurt (tot.250g) with six ground almonds
Snack: a large apple
Lunch: 80 grams rice, with barbecued vegetables, 150 grams of chicken bosom, and a shower of oil
Snack: an espresso and two hazelnut chocolates
Dinner: barbecued swordfish (250 grams) + vegetables to taste + 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Diet Day 4
Breakfast: 4 rusks with chocolate spread and a glass of milk (250 ml)
Snack: an enormous apple
Lunch: bruschetta (80-100g) with tomato to taste, a shower of oil and fish (an enormous 112-gram tin )
Snack: 50 g chocolate-flavored protein bar
Dinner: 1 tablespoon of olive oil + vegetables to taste + pork midsection (150 g)
Diet Day 5
Breakfast: almonds (6), hazelnuts (8), dried figs (3) a spoon grape passes
Snack: regular yogurt p. skimmed
Lunch: organic product salad, veal steak (150g), bread (50g)
Snack: 50-gram bar of additional dull cocoa
Dinner: boiled potatoes (250 grams), a sprinkle of oil, a lean meat hamburger (100 grams).