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The Shocking Truth About Chocolate: Plus a Recipe for Homemade Chocolate

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  • Lakanto Sweetener (800g)

    Lakanto Sweetener (800g)

    The Healthiest Sugar Substitute Available

    LAKANTO is the only zero calorie, zero glycemic sweetener that is just like sugar.

    Lakanto is the only zero calorie, zero glycemic sweetener that is just like sugar. Lakanto Golden’s mouthwatering aroma and delicious flavor tastes like brown sugar. While Lakanto Classic’s clean and crisp sweetness tastes like plain white sugar.

    Lakanto looks like, tastes like and works just like sugar. Unlike most fruits, whose sweetness comes from fructose, Monk Fruit’s sweetness comes from natural mogrosides that are 300 times sweeter than sugar.

    Plus, Monk Fruit extract does not elevate blood sugar or insulin, making it a perfect sweetener for maintaining health blood sugar levels and weight management.

    • Ideal sugar substitute for baked goods
    • Safe for Diabetics
    • Zero Calories

    Now available in two flavors: Golden or Classic. What's the difference?

    Taste.
    Golden has a flavor similar to brown sugar or molasses.
    Classic has a flavor more similar to table sugar.

Like green tea or red wine, chocolate contains good-for-you polyphenols.

Chocoholics contain a different set of gut bacteria than those who have no preference for chocolate.

Polyphenols make up a group of micronutrients that are found in many foods, including cruciferous vegetables, green leafy vegetables, sour fruits, spices, and fresh herbs. Studies show that polyphenols safeguard against degenerative diseases like cancer and heart disease. (1)

You may have heard of some polyphenols in chocolate, like:

  • Quercetin
  • Catechin

These polyphenols scavenge free radicals and slow down the liver’s metabolism of toxins, including the stimulants (like theobromine and caffeine) found in chocolate. Their ability to blunt the metabolism of toxins actually protects the body—specifically, from development of cancer. (2)

While the fermented, whole cacao bean packs the hardest punch, even cacao powder and refined chocolate sweets contain these precious polyphenols. With all the positive research on chocolate, it’s a food that we love to love.

But beware: Your cravings for chocolate may not even be your own—they may belong to your gut bacteria.

Your Gut Microbes Make You Hungry for Chocolate

lakanto-golden_1

What is the best type of chocolate to eat when you have a craving? Chocolate made with sugar alternative Lakanto offers a healthier treat without an aftertaste.

In 2007, researchers at the Nestlé Research Center pointed out that “chocoholics” contain a different set of gut bacteria than those who have no preference for chocolate. (3)

This past year, we saw research suggest that microbes control our mood and our appetite, literally driving our taste for specific foods, including chocolate. (4)

Fortunately, scientists point out that we are not at the mercy of our microbes—prebiotics, probiotics, antibiotics, and diet can all change our inner ecosystem and control cravings. (5)

Your CYP1A Gene and Chocolate

Like coffee, tea, and cola—chocolate contains caffeine. (6)(7) Caffeine and many prescription drugs are detoxified in the liver, mostly by the CYP1A2 enzyme. Your CYP1A gene codes for this enzyme. The problem? Not everyone has the same CYP1A gene.

In other words, some people detoxify caffeine at a higher rate. This is not necessarily a good thing since detoxification can produce harmful byproducts that damage DNA and kick start the formation of cancer. (8)

Fortunately, in her wisdom Mother Nature packaged stimulating foods with a large amount of polyphenols.

As we mentioned earlier, these polyphenols protect the body against cancer and oxidative stress. The polyphenols in chocolate may even buffer the stress of intestinal inflammation. (9)

Homemade Healthy Chocolate Recipe

Sarah Alarid, a “cacaolatier” living in Los Angeles, is uniquely acquainted with all the different forms of chocolate that we have access to.

Candy bars, chocolate filled with synthetic sweeteners, raw cacao—have you ever asked yourself which one is better? And why? Sarah explains that as a child she always loved the taste of chocolate but felt sick when she ate it.

“As an adult, I learned about alternatives to sugar. One of them was Lakanto. 

I had learned about preparing healthier types of desserts, and I started making raw chocolate for myself and people around me. I have used stevia, agave, honey, xylitol, and Lakanto. Lakanto works best. It mixes well with the chocolate and gives a good consistency. It tastes great, and there is no aftertaste.”

Sarah’s Halloween Chocolate Treats

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate candy mold
  • 2 cups cacao butter
  • 1 ½ cups cacao powder
  • 1 cup Lakanto
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder
  1. On low heat, melt cacao butter and coconut oil using a double broiler. Mix together.
  2. Add cacao powder, Lakanto, and vanilla bean powder to oils.
  3. Mix well. Taste and add stevia if you would like your chocolate sweeter.
  4. Fill molds with liquid chocolate mixture.
  5. Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until chocolate becomes solid.

If you are feeling adventurous, Sarah recommends adding an almond butter center to the chocolate once it’s in the mold, just after pouring. Because chocolate hardens as it cools, be sure to prepare the almond butter mixture ahead of time.

Almond Butter Center

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • ¾ cup Lakanto
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  1. Mix almond butter, Lakanto, and coconut oil.
  2. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  3. Use spoon or melon scoop to form almond butter into a ball and place in the center of chocolate.
  4. Start with a small batch (10-12 pieces) in case chocolate cools before almond butter can be placed into the mold.

Sarah has been making raw chocolate truffles since 2006. She makes them to order and also sells her chocolates in boutique shops and specialty grocery stores throughout the L.A. area.

You can get in touch with Sarah at: alaridsarah@gmail.com, 323-802-9469

What To Remember Most About This Article:

Chocolate makes headlines because of its benefits. Specifically, it contains polyphenols, also found in green tea, red wine, cruciferous vegetables, spices, and herbs. Polyphenols can help to protect against cancer and heart disease.

But if you have out-of-control chocolate cravings, your gut bacteria may be to blame. Nestlé research has shown that "chocoholics" have different gut bacteria than those who don't have a taste for chocolate. Your cravings and your inner ecosystem can be affected by antibiotics, prebiotics, probiotics, and diet.

When you have a hankering for a sweet chocolate taste, go for a healthier alternative by making your own with Lakanto. Natural-tasting Lakanto chocolate makes the perfect Halloween treat without the guilt and without the "chocolate hangover" the next morning.

  • Lakanto Sweetener (800g)

    Lakanto Sweetener (800g)

    The Healthiest Sugar Substitute Available

    LAKANTO is the only zero calorie, zero glycemic sweetener that is just like sugar.

    Lakanto is the only zero calorie, zero glycemic sweetener that is just like sugar. Lakanto Golden’s mouthwatering aroma and delicious flavor tastes like brown sugar. While Lakanto Classic’s clean and crisp sweetness tastes like plain white sugar.

    Lakanto looks like, tastes like and works just like sugar. Unlike most fruits, whose sweetness comes from fructose, Monk Fruit’s sweetness comes from natural mogrosides that are 300 times sweeter than sugar.

    Plus, Monk Fruit extract does not elevate blood sugar or insulin, making it a perfect sweetener for maintaining health blood sugar levels and weight management.

    • Ideal sugar substitute for baked goods
    • Safe for Diabetics
    • Zero Calories

    Now available in two flavors: Golden or Classic. What's the difference?

    Taste.
    Golden has a flavor similar to brown sugar or molasses.
    Classic has a flavor more similar to table sugar.

  • EcoBloom

    EcoBloom

    Feed Your Probiotics

    • Helps to enhance immune system
    • Food for the good bacteria in your gut
    • Fights constipation
    • Releases stress
    • Improves liver function
  • Stevia Liquid Concentrate

    Stevia Liquid Concentrate

    Sweet-tasting Herbal Extract Dietary Supplement

    • Zero Calorie, Zero Carbohydrates, Zero Glycemic Index
    • 985 servings in every bottle
    • Bitter-free, refreshingly sweet, smooth-tasting
    • Minimal processing for highest purity
  • CocoBiotic

    CocoBiotic

    Powerful Probiotic Liquid

    Enjoy your daily probiotic with an easy 2-ounce shot of our delicious organic coconut beverage. Considered a super probiotic, CocoBiotic delivers maximum bioavailability as a fermented liquid food vs. traditional probiotic capsules. Plus the beneficial microflora in CocoBiotic's unique fermented beverage can withstand harsh stomach acids to maximize colonization in the gut.

    Just 2 to 3 ounces per day:

    • Organic, Non-Gmo probiotic made with all natural ingredients
    • Incredible Revolutionary Probiotic that is hydrating and cleansing so you can feel more energetic every day
    • Helps heal leaky gut and improves digestive health
    • Curbs sugar cravings and controls yeast overgrowth

REFERENCES:

  1. Manach, C., Scalbert, A., Morand, C., Rémésy, C., & Jiménez, L. (2004). Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 79(5), 727-747.
  2. Ohno, M., Sakamoto, K. Q., Ishizuka, M., & Fujita, S. (2009). Crude cacao Theobroma cacao extract reduces mutagenicity induced by benzo [a] pyrene through inhibition of CYP1A activity in vitro. Phytotherapy Research, 23(8), 1134-1139.
  3. Rezzi, S., Ramadan, Z., Martin, F. P. J., Fay, L. B., van Bladeren, P., Lindon, J. C., ... & Kochhar, S. (2007). Human metabolic phenotypes link directly to specific dietary preferences in healthy individuals. Journal of proteome research, 6(11), 4469-4477.
  4. Alcock, J., Maley, C. C., & Aktipis, C. (2014). Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms. BioEssays, 36(10), 940-949.
  5. Moore, A. (2014). At the mercy of our microbes?. BioEssays, 36(10), 905-905.
  6. Zoumas, B. L., Kreiser, W. R., & MARTIN, R. (1980). Theobromine and caffeine content of chocolate products. Journal of Food Science, 45(2), 314-316.
  7. Martínez-López, S., Sarriá, B., Gómez-Juaristi, M., Goya, L., Mateos, R., & Bravo-Clemente, L. (2014). Theobromine, caffeine, and theophylline metabolites in human plasma and urine after consumption of soluble cocoa products with different methylxanthine contents. Food Research International.
  8. Zhou, S. F., Yang, L. P., Zhou, Z. W., Liu, Y. H., & Chan, E. (2009). Insights into the substrate specificity, inhibitors, regulation, and polymorphisms and the clinical impact of human cytochrome P450 1A2. The AAPS journal, 11(3), 481-494.
  9. Andújar, I., Recio, M. C., Giner, R. M., & Ríos, J. L. (2012). Cocoa polyphenols and their potential benefits for human health. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2012.

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  • rachelomera

    Is this allowed on the body ecology diet / what if we use Stevia to sweeten instead of Lakanto?

  • completely disappointed

    Lakanto did not dissolve in the warm cacao butter and coconut oil mixture from the double broiler. Stirred for 15 minutes and still the white granules sank to the bottom. I see in one of the comments that "lakanto is a little grainy in the final product." It was completely grainy! It shocks me that something that dissolves in water does not dissolve in warm oil! Two words come to mind - synthetic foodstuff. This is not natural, and I'm not sure how healthy this really is. I will not buy or recommend lakanto again.

    BTW, $30 for 2 cups of cacao butter and $20 for cacao powder, both organic and non GMO. This was an expensive experiment. Now I know better, and consider yourself warned.

  • Odysseia

    How about chocolate (especially dark) and its Copper overload on the spleen and liver?? Those of us who have Copper toxicity also have thyroid and adrenal problems and should best limit chocolate as much as possible.....

  • http:// http://www.healthierary.com/ Sophie

    It is shocking! good to know that choc had a healthy side! thanks for sharing this truth.

  • Alesea

    What is the benefit of "slowing down" the detoxification process? Shouldn't it speed up?

    Thank you.

  • Constance

    2 cups of cacao butter!! In Australia it cost me $34 for 500g of cocoa butter. Is that the same thing?

  • anastasia

    I buy it at my health food store. I use Lakanto a lot and like other sugar alcohols it goes give me gas and bloating so I do have to careful how much I eat. Not as much gas and bloating as xyilotol which I can't eat at all. I made the Halloween chocolate treats. The Lakanto is a little grainy in the final product, but it is chocolately and sweet. I had one piece with my morning coffee and dipped it in almond butter. It will hit the spot if you have a chocolate craving.

  • kaya polster

    I live in Australia and we can't get Lakanto here. I made cheese cake with xylitol of which I have bought 2 kilos. However, my husband and I react to xylitol and to stevia like it is sugar. My thrush comes back and my husband gets a flaky face and a headache the next day.
    What is your opinion about Xylitol?

  • Kathy

    Search for raw cacao butter on the web. Live Superfoods is just one of the many websites that sell it. Yes you can eat it!! :)

  • Ola

    Must try recipe, thank you!

  • Mary

    Where can I buy eatable cocoa butter?

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