The Chocolate Diet is a weight-loss plan. It includes daily consumption of limited amounts of chocolate. The phrase “chocolate diet” also signifies the consumption of chocolate because it helps you to reduce your cholesterol.
Origin Of Chocolate
Chocolate was originated during the Classic Period of Maya (250-900) in Mesoamerica. During that time Mesoamerica was encompassed with Tropic Cancer in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and parts of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. The Maya and their ancestors developed a procedure to convert the beans of the Theo-broma cacao tree into a chocolate beverage. This process started with the harvesting, fermenting, and roasting of the beans. The beans were then ground a paste and mixed with ingredients including water, chile peppers, and corn meal.
In 15th century the Maya and the Aztecs used the bitter-testing beverage in their ceremonies. Those were just some uses for the products of the cacao tree. Christopher Columbus saw that the Aztecs used cacao beans as currency. He took some cacao beans back to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. Later explorers brought back the knowledge about how to convert the beans into a beverage. The Spanish added spices like cinnamon and sugar to the beverage to make it sweeter. The new beverage remained Spain’s secret for a century.
Then other Europeans found out about the chocolate drink. It was an expensive indulgence. It was only affordable to the upper classes but it was changed during the Industrial Revolution in 1800s. Mass production brought down the cost of manufacturing treats including solid chocolate. Another milestone occurred by Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle in 1875. They created milk-chocolate by adding condensed milk to chocolate.
Cocoa beans contain approximately 50% fat. One ounce (28.3 grams) of chocolate contains approximately 150 calories and 8.5 grams of fat. Calorie and fat gram count in chocolate produce weight gain but the fats in chocolate won’t raise cholesterol levels. The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat. That means that it is low in saturated fat, which is connected to cholesterol levels. Chocolate also contains forms of saturated fat known as stearic and palmitic acids. Saturated fats are connected to increases in LDL (Low-Density Lipo-protein). Also known as bad cholesterol, increased LDL cholesterol can clog arteries, raising the risk for heart disease. Palmitic acid, which affects cholesterol levels, forms one-third of the fat calories in chocolate. The stearic acid appeared to have no effect on cholesterol levels.
Chocolate also contains caffeine and theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine. There’s also some phenyl-ethylamine, a chemical that creates the sensation people feel when they’re in love.
Flavanoids is a key ingredients of Chocolate
Cacao beans also contain flavanoids. Flavanoids is a kind of plant products that act as antioxidants. Flavanoids relax blood vessels, allowing blood to circulate. Antioxidants are thought to be effective in helping to prevent cancer, heart disease, and strokes. Sources of flavonoids include citrus fruits, onions, green tea, red wine, and dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or higher. Chocolate belongs to a subgroup of flavonoids called flavonols.
The presence of plant chemicals like flavonoids is related the color of the chocolate. There are more flavonoids in darker chocolate than there are in milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is also known as semisweet or bittersweet chocolate because it contains little or no sugar. It is frequently identified by the percentage of cocoa. The cocoa content in dark chocolate ranges from 30% for sweet dark chocolate to 70% or sometimes above 80%. A higher percentage indicates there is more of a bitter after-taste.
Milk chocolate contains fewer flavonoids than dark chocolate and tastes sweeter. American chocolate contains milk; European varieties often contain condensed milk.
White chocolate lacks flavanoids because there are no cocoa solids in it. It is considered a chocolate because cocoa butter is usually an ingredient. Some white chocolate is made with vegetable fats.
A funny concept about Chocolate Diet was nursing in 19th century
People realized that chocolate gave them energy. Then also knew that it can be used for fattening, but excess weight was a sign of prosperity in the 19th century. A thin figure meant that a person wasn’t well-off financially. And chocolate was sold as a weight-gain powder in that time.
Standards changed during the early decades of the 20th century, when the ideal image was a thin figure. Chocolate became known as a forbidden food for dieters. The role of chocolate in diets started to change during the 1990s.
During the 1990s and in subsequent years, researchers began investigating the health benefits of chocolate. In unrelated actions, several books promoted weight-loss plans that involved chocolate.
Books For Chocolate Diet
1) The Pasta-Popcorn-Chocolate Diet: This book was written by Lenny Neimark, a film maker and screenwriter. It was published in 1990 by Soul Proprietor. Neimark based his book on “his unique and humorous perspective of human nature, drama, and people’s desire to look, feel, and be thin, scientific facts,” and the case histories of overweight patients. The histories were provided by his brother, a doctor with a family medicine practice in California.
The book’s title described three foods allowed on a diet, according to descriptions on websites including idiet4u.com. Also on the weight-loss plan were fruits, vegetables, and 1 ounce (28.3 grams)of chocolate each day. Chapter titles included “Thinking Thin” “The Science and Mathematics of Losing Weight,” and & “How to Maintain Results.”
2) The Chocolate Diet: This book was written by Sally Ann Voak. The Chocolate Diet is a 235-page book published in 2001. Voak, a British journalist, was then the The Sun newspaper’s slimming editor. Her writing credits include The Fatfield Diet, a book about a weight-loss plan that she created for the British village of Fatfield. Residents were challenged to follow the healthy weight-loss plan. Their progress was tracked on “Bazaar” a popular BBC daytime program.
Voak targeted The Chocolate Diet at chocoholics, people who have trouble resisting chocolate. Her book included six diets and the promise that people could eat chocolate and lose weight. Although the paperback book is out of print, copies were available through Amazon.com in the spring of 2007.
The uses of Cacao tree and Chocolate
The name of cacao tree is Theobroma cacao and it translates to ‘Food Of Gods’. Humans found numerous medical uses for that food throughout the years. The Maya and Aztecs used it to treat conditions including seizures, fevers, and skin infections.
It’s in 17th century – people used chocolate as a sleep aid, blood purifier, and a pain reliever during childbirth. Some people believed that chocolate helped them live longer.
The once forbidden food for dieters was incorporated into some weight-loss plans by the end of the 20th Century. Furthermore, people concerned about health issues like high cholesterol could turn to chocolate as a potential preventive measure.
Details about Neimark’s diet on the Internet were limited to what foods were allowed and what were excluded. There was no information about how long the diet lasted or how much weight a dieter could expect to lose. There were limited recommendations for serving sizes. The specified portions included 1 ounce (28.3 grams) of chocolate. This is the equivalent of one baking chocolate square.
The online versions of the diet showed a menu plan for one day, with several meal selections for the dieter to choose from. Other variety in the diet came from choosing different fruits, vegetables, and low-fat pasta sauces. Popcorn could be topped with nonfat butter substitutes or a bit of Parmesan cheese. Salt was not permitted.
The diet of three meals and three snacks consists of:
- Breakfast of fresh fruit, fruit salad, or shredded wheat with non-fat milk and strawberries.
- A morning snack of air-popped popcorn or fruit.
- Lunch of salad, pasta salad, or spaghetti. Pasta sauces should be meatless, low fat, and low sodium. Low-calorie salad dressing is allowed
- An afternoon snack of popcorn or a fruit smoothie made with 1 cup (236.6 milliliters) non-fat skim milk.
- Dinner of fettuccini with garlic tomato sauce, wholewheat pasta primavera salad, or steamed vegetables.
- Evening snack of popcorn or 1 ounce (28.3 grams) of chocolate.
- Coffee or other caffeinated beverages or carbonated soft drinks.
- Sugars, raisins and dates because of the high sugar content, and snack foods like cakes and pie.
- Oils, fried foods, and oily foods like avocados, olives, and coconut.
- Oils, fried foods, and oily foods like avocados, olives, and coconut.
- Red meats and dairy products.
- Nuts, seeds, and snack foods like chips.
The dieter should drink 2 quarts (2 liters) of water but could not consume
N.B: If you want to know more about Chocolate Diet, please read this article in details. I personally encourage those people who are suffering from over-weight.
People who are allergic to chocolate should not prescribe to regimens that involve eating it. People with other conditions such as elevated LDL or total cholesterol levels should consult their physicians before beginning a diet or health regimen involving.