La Dulce y Amarga Verdad Del Chocolate (Cacao vs Cocoa)

The Sweet and Bitter Truth of Chocolate (Cacao vs Cocoa)

Are you eating healthy chocolate? Learn to choose your chocolate wisely.

Ah, the chocolate! Its flavor is never enough. There are so many shapes, so many colors and markings. It would seem that we would never get to know all its varieties.

Two cases in particular are cocoa and cocoa. Do you know the diference? I tell you that there is a subtle difference, well, a very big one!

Cocoa vs Cocoa

Cocoa is the purest form of chocolate and also the most bitter form. It is found in three presentations: the tree (Theobroma cacao), the seeds or grains, and the powder.

On the other hand, there is the cocoa powder that is used in drinks and chocolate bars. This is obtained by roasting raw cocoa beans at high temperatures, before being ground, which produces a less bitter taste.

Cocoa Properties

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With the cocoa beans (previously fermented) a concentrated powder is made and the fat is separated. This powder is natural, so it is considered a superfood as it has beneficial health properties such as:

  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids
  • Various vitamins and minerals

Cocoa Properties

The high temperatures that cocoa is subjected to together with the process to reduce the bitter taste takes away all the health properties. As a result, it has elements that are not good for health:

  • Oils
  • Fats
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Artificial flavors

Unfortunately, most of the chocolates you buy at the store are processed with cocoa and vegetable oils. This results in a product that is not really chocolate. For this reason, dark chocolate is said to be better, as it contains 65% of cocoa and less sugar than milk chocolate.

Cocoa Benefits

  • Increase your sensitivity to insulin, thus helping to prevent diabetes.
  • Lowers blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
  • Protects neurons thanks to its high content of resveratrol (a powerful antioxidant).
  • Repairs the damage that toxins cause in your body, thanks to its antioxidants.
  • Provides minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper, and manganese.
  • Raise your mood thanks to its content of phenylethylamine, a brain molecule that makes us feel extremely happy.

Cocoa Benefits

The benefits of cocoa are similar to those of cocoa, such as increasing insulin sensitivity and elevating your mood, thanks to antioxidants. It also contains the same minerals as iron and potassium. But all this in Lower quantities!

If you are like me, your palate melts and you forget all this I am saying when you see a rich hot chocolate volcano with vanilla ice cream on top. But, what should not be forgotten is the nutritional value.

Homer Simpson drooling.
CREDIT: GIPHY

So the next time you have that delicious treat for a chocolate, the delicacy of the Aztec gods, choose an ounce of cocoa chocolate instead of one of cocoa.

As you can see, the differences between cocoa and cocoa are very noticeable, and it is those small daily choices that can help or harm our body. The next time you have that delicious treat for a chocolate, the delicacy of the Aztec gods, choose an ounce of cocoa chocolate instead of one of cocoa.

Don't forget that moderation is the key to a healthy life!

We asked experts and this they tell us about the eternal morning dilemma: Green Tea vs Black Tea vs Coffee: Which One Should You Drink?

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Ricardo Zuniga

Soy estudiante de Ingeniería Bioquímica en la Universidad Estatal de Arizona. Me apasiona aprender cómo funciona el mundo alrededor de mí, a nivel molecular y las reacciones químicas que hacen que la vida sea posible. Soy un miembro nuevo en este gran equipo de salud: la clínica médica de St. Vincent de Paul, me integré en junio pasado y mi labor consiste en ayudar a nuestros pacientes a hacer los cambios necesarios para prevenir o controlar la diabetes, así como perder peso. Fuera del trabajo, me gusta explorar y fotografiar lugares remotos de la naturaleza, tocar el bajo y aprender acerca de otras culturas.