Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Eat Chocolate and Lower Your Cholesterol Levels at the Same Time

Everybody loves chocolate, who doesn't? Unless you are allergic to it. Almost every month, new research conducted on chocolate is published proving that chocolate is good for you and can even keep the doctor away


Even though chocolate already contains beneficial compounds for our health, scientists have been working on integrating other chemicals in chocolate which can reduce the levels of potentially harmful chemicals in our body, such as cholesterol.
Infographic: Click to enlarge.

In a study conducted in the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, researchers have produced phytosterol-enriched dark chocolate, as a potential functional food, which can lower cholesterol.  Before this can even reach the public, the enriched chocolate has to go through several trials. In one of the researchers’ trials, they aimed to test the oxidative stability of the dark chocolate bar containing phytosterols. The oxidative stability of the samples was evaluated during 5 months at 20°C and 30°C.

First of all what are phytosterols?

Phytosterols are compounds that are similar to cholesterol, which occur in plants and vary only in carbon side chains and/or presence or absence of a double bond. They are found in seeds, vegetable oils and cereals.  Phytosterols have the ability to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Phytosterols reduce cholesterol levels by competing with cholesterol absorption in the gut via one or several possible mechanisms.

Because of their cholesterol reducing properties, some manufacturers are using sterols or stanols as a food additive. Phytosterol-enriched foods and dietary supplements have been sold for decades.

How did they make the chocolate bars?

The “control” Belgian Praline chocolates (30 g – 15g shell and 15g filling) were formulated by mixing cocoa powder, cocoa liquor, palm oil, polydextrose, rice protein, cocoa butter, xylitol, maltitol, hazelnut paste, erythritol, soy lecithin, polyglycerol polyricinoleate, nut flavor, sucralose and nut flavour.

Two different formulations were produced to test the oxidative stability of phytosterols: PHYT and PHAN. Since palm oil is usually used to prepare the filling, they replaced palm oil with two different plant sterols. In the PHAN group of chocolates, ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol were also added into the filling formulation (0.90 mg/100 g of chocolate).

So what did they find?

Based on the results from the study, the researchers found that the plant-sterol-enriched chocolate bars attained all relevant aspects for a satisfactory functional food development and can even be stored for up to 150 days without significant modifications in their nutritional and sensory profile. The daily intake of 1 bar (30 g) provided about 2.2 g of PS esters, which is higher than the amount required by the FDA (1.3 g).

Supplements in food not pills...


The chocolate bar developed in this study did not contain sugar and it was formulated with 50 g/100 g of cocoa, therefore it could potentially be useful for individuals with dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. 

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bacteria Decides if you’ll be Fat or Thin

Some people can’t lose weight and some people can’t put it on and I’m one of those people that people hate because I can eat whatever I want without gaining a pound whilst my friends find it extremely difficult to lose weight and all that is because we have different metabolisms to each other. It’s also a well known fact that we get our looks from our parents so it won’t be a surprise if I tell you that we also inherit our weight from our parents too. 

The first research of its kind has found that the existence of a particular type of bacteria in our gut has the potential to determine if the person will be fat or thin and it can actually be inherited through our DNA not just by our environmental factors.

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