When taken in moderation, chocolate actually has its upside. Cocoa, the raw ingredient of chocolates, is loaded with antioxidants which fights off free radicals from the body. It is both a brain and energy booster. It can also be used as an effective body sugar level regulator. However, there are some types of chocolate that provide more health benefits than their counterparts. For starters, when you have a dark chocolate vs milk chocolate situation, dark chocolate would come out as the winner according to certain parameters.
Chocolate, as one would expect, is brimming with fats. That is why moderation is essential. Just because some types of chocolate are good for the body does not mean a person can go overboard with chocolate consumption. Undesirable weight gain might be the end-result of frenzied intake of such sweet treats.
However, there is such a thing as healthy fats. These are monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs. This type of fats have a number of health benefits. They are known to aid in weight loss since they can be used as a replacement for weight gain-catalyzing calories. They also help reduce heart disease risk since they have the ability to bring down the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. They are even said to help lessen the risk of some forms of cancer.
This is one of the reasons why dark chocolate will win in a dark chocolate vs milk chocolate bout. Dark chocolate contains more MUFAs than milk chocolate. In fact, half a bar of dark chocolate would contain approximately four to five grams of MUFAs as compared to two to three grams in milk chocolate.
Fiber is essential to a person’s diet because it provides a lot of health advantages. Among them is promoting bowel health, regulating cholesterol and blood sugar, and managing weight. This is yet another parameter that proves dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate. The dark variety packs fiber four times more than its milk-based equivalent. Half a bar of dark chocolate would be comprised of sixteen to seventeen percent of fiber. The same amount of milk chocolate will only yield a fiber percentage count of about four.
Iron is an essential mineral that comprises hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells tasked to transport oxygen throughout the body. This is why a deficiency of iron can lead to a whole host of negative outcomes including fatigue and a weakened immune system. It is, therefore, very important to maintain healthy levels of iron in the body. According to WebMD, recommended amount of iron is as follows:
· 10 mg of iron daily for children 4 to 8 years old
· 8 mg of iron daily for children 9 to 13 years old
· 18 mg of iron daily for women 19 to 50 years old (Women lose blood during their period so they need more iron.)
· 8 mg of iron daily for men 19 to 50 years old
· 8 mg of iron daily for both men and women 50 years old and onwards
Dark chocolate scores a home run with this one. At half a bar, the dark type would have about twenty-eight percent of iron. Its milk-based counterpart, at the same quantity, packs a measly six percent. Dark chocolate has iron content that is more than triple the amount found in milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate also contains more minerals than milk chocolate. While milk chocolate outperforms dark chocolate when it comes to bones and teeth-friendly calcium, dark chocolate trumps milk chocolate pretty much in everything else. It has more magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Magnesium is essential to keep body processes running at an optimum level. It is an all-around regulator that takes care of muscle and nerve function, blood sugar level, and even blood pressure. Phosphorus, meanwhile, works like calcium. It keeps bones and teeth healthy and strong. It also aids in the use and absorption of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Potassium is also yet another notable mineral because of the fact that it is not produced naturally by the body so it is essential to consume potassium-rich food but not excessively. Potassium does a lot of good things for the body. It aids in regulating water level, blood pressure, nerve impulses, and the acidity and alkalinity in the body.
Finally, there’s zinc. Zinc does a lot of good things for our body. It helps boost one’s immune system, aids in DNA generation, and helps heal wounds.
Carbohydrates, Cholesterol, Sugar
The old adage, “Less is more” definitely applies when comparing the health benefits of dark chocolate with milk chocolate. Carbohydrates, cholesterol and sugar, in excess, are bad for the body. They can cause short-term health problems and, when not treated, can lead to long-term concerns such as diabetes, heart ailments, and high blood pressure.
This is the yet another compelling reason why dark chocolate wins in a dark chocolate vs milk chocolate fight. The presence of this so-called “Big Three” is notably lower in dark chocolate as compared to milk chocolate. Dark chocolate only has 6% carbohydrates composition compared to milk chocolate’s 8%. Dark chocolate also has significantly less sugar with only 10g of it at half the bar quantity compared to 21g present in half a bar of milk chocolate. It is the same story when it comes to cholesterol. Milk chocolate has a whopping 3% cholesterol count as compared to dark chocolate with only 0.3%. With lesser carbohydrates, cholesterol, and sugar, dark chocolate, once again, emerges as the better choice.
It cannot be stressed enough that the health advantages brought by dark chocolate should not be used as an excuse for eating it in excess. It still packs so many calories which can lead to unhealthy weight gain. For as long as you take it in moderation, you can fully enjoy the benefits that dark chocolates can offer.
Given all the reasons above, one does not need to be a rocket scientist to prove that dark chocolate should be the choice when it comes to deciding between dark chocolate vs milk chocolate. So go ahead. Enjoy all the benefits dark chocolates have to offer but always remember, moderation is the key.