FYI 2014: Delicious Chocolate

By Lethia Lee EFNEP Program Assistant

February 16, 2014

What’s the difference between milk, dark, and white chocolate?

Milk chocolate is made of sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, and chocolate liquor. Dark chocolate (also called bittersweet or semi-sweet) is made of sugar, cocoa butter, and chocolate liquor. It has more cocoa solids than milk chocolate. White chocolate doesn’t have any cocoa solids, just cocoa butter, sugar, and flavorings.

Is chocolate addictive?

For some people, chocolate seems to be as addictive as alcohol or drugs. Experts attribute cravings mainly to chocolate’s “hedonic” appeal—the fat, sugar, texture, and aroma of chocolate. But chocolate also stimulates the release of endorphins and the body’s other “feel good” substances.

How can I satisfy my chocolate craving without gaining weight?

Lower-fat ways to satisfy chocolate include small portions. Try bite-size peppermint patties, Hersey’s Simple Pleasures, etc. You can also use sugar-free chocolate syrup to add chocolate flavor to fruit, coffee, and milk. It’s also interesting to note that chocolate chips have 205 fewer calories than chocolate bars.

Is chocolate high in caffeine?

A 1.3-ounce serving of chocolate has about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of decaffeinated coffee.

Why should I care about chocolate?

Researchers are serious about chocolate… they recently formed the International Society of Chocolate and Cocoa in medicine. Dark chocolate is on the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine’s “Healing Foods Pyramid” at the tip of the Pyramid, indicating that it is “optional” and should be eaten in moderation.

Sources: National Confectioners Association’s Chocolate Council: Jam Clin Nutr. 2012 Mar; 95(3): 740-51

For more information contact Lethia Lee, EFNEP Assistant with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910- 592-7161.