As National Chocolate Week continues, a “healthier” milk chocolate has been released for guilt-free scoffing.
Hotel Chocolat claims their Supermilk bar has “a set of outstanding nutritional benefits” because of the increased cocoa quantities and reduced sugar.
The health benefits of cocoa have long been disputed but researchers have claimed it can protect against blood clots, is full of antioxidants and boosts the production of feel-good chemicals serotonin and dopamine.
The health problems with chocolate mainly come from the addition of fat and sugar, particularly with milk and white chocolate.
But the Supermilk bar contains 65 per cent pure cocoa – more than most dark chocolate – and a comparatively low sugar content of 20 per cent.
Dalia Maori, a dietician, said it has “all the health benefits of dark chocolate with even less sugar, more creaminess” and increased “satisfaction” to encourage people to eat less of it.
The glycaemic index (GI) of the product, its effect on blood sugar, is still being measured but the use of cocoa butter pushes fat up to 43 per cent.
It is not the first attempt at healthy chocolate – boxes of chocolates containing just 20 calories were released last year.
Aneesh Popat, a 26-year-old maths graduate based in London, excluded butter and cream, using flavour-infused water and cocoa instead.
Scientists also managed to halve the fat content of chocolate by replacing cocoa butter and milk fats with fruit juice.
Although the process, which uses tiny droplets of orange, cranberry or apple juice, gives the bars a slightly fruity taste, it can be applied to milk, dark and white chocolate.
Dark chocolate is also generally lower in fat and sugar – the higher cocoa percentage the better – and low and no sugar chocolate is made for diabetics.
But it is often replaced with sweeteners that have unpleasant effects on digestion, so it is best to stick to a few chunks at a time.
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