Is Chocolate For Breakfast Healthy
Almost every second article in the health magazines talks about the healthful benefits of chocolates and explains why it is good to be a chocoholic. However, is it so good that you can eat chocolate for breakfast too! If yes, then should you succumb to your child’s demand for a bar of Hershey’s first thing in the morning? Read on to get these queries answered…
This article deals with the basic chocolates, which are available in 3 forms - dark, milk, and white. Chocolate products like chocolate milk, syrup, powder, molding chocolate, cocoa, cocoa butter, etc., are not included in the discussion. Here is the typical nutrient break up of different forms of eating chocolate…
As per definition, dark chocolate contains most percentage of cocoa solids and is almost true to the nutrient break up of cacao beans, followed by milk chocolate, which has some parts of cocoa solids replaced with milk solids. White chocolate is by definition considered as a chocolate derivative, since it does not contain any cocoa solids. Instead, all cocoa solids are replaced with milk solids, sweeteners, and non-cocoa fats.
Most healthful virtues of chocolates are attributed to the presence of potent antioxidant compounds, nutrients like thiamine and riboflavin, and unique mood elevating amino acids. Since, all these compounds are a part of the cocoa solids; white chocolate and milk chocolate do not offer the much-acclaimed benefits of consuming chocolate. The benefits discussed here refer to eating dark chocolate…
- Several studies have conclusively proved that chocolates help prevent and at times even cure migraine attacks. Some also believe that they may help reduce hangover symptoms.
- Epicatechin, an antioxidant found in chocolates, along with other phenolic antioxidants, help prevent plaque formation in the arteries, reduce blood pressure, and stabilize LDL levels. All of which, in turn reduce the risk of heart diseases.
- There is a reason why chocolates are the best gifts for Valentine’s Day – they are potent aphrodisiacs. Research is ongoing to prove the exact mechanism of this action, but the fact remains that these dark bits of delicacy arouse the carnal instinct in humans.
- Theobromine – the active agent in chocolates is found to be a better decongestant and expectorant than the popular codeine.
Side effects of eating Chocolates for breakfast:
- Leads to a sugar rush: Chocolates are not made of just cocoa products, but several other ingredients are added during the manufacturing process. Almost all chocolates are loaded with refined sugar to negate the bitter taste of cocoa. Consuming high amounts of sugar early in the morning leads to sugar rush – a condition in which, a person experiences a state of hyperactivity due to a sudden peak in blood sugar levels, followed by a slump in stamina, due to sudden fall in blood glucose. Sugar rush also leads to more sugar cravings towards mid morning.
- Low in fiber: Most varieties of chocolates provide negligible amounts of dietary fiber. This further enhances the glycemic index (ability of food to increase blood sugar levels) of the chocolates, making it unsuitable for obese and diabetic people.
- Calorie dense: Each serving of chocolate provides an average of 150 Kcal to 200 Kcal, which is majorly contributed through simple carbohydrates and fats. This categorizes chocolates as a calorie dense, nutrient poor food.
- Low in proteins: ADA recommends that that any breakfast food must contain at least 1 portion of proteins. However, chocolates contain almost negligible amounts of proteins.
A healthy breakfast must include ample amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates, and minimal fat. However, as evident through the nutritional evaluation, chocolates in general do not conform to this requirement.
To conclude, while milk chocolates and white chocolates surely do not qualify as health foods, dark chocolates are proven to be brimming with numerous benefits for the mind and body. However, dark chocolates fail provide the ideal nutrients required for a perfect start to the day. As a result, a bar of chocolate is better consumed as an evening treat rather than as a breakfast food.