Cacao vs Chocolate: Is there a difference?

 “Cacao vs Chocolate: Is there a difference?”

cacao vs chocolate: is there a difference?


Chocolate comes from a tree?

Cacao is a bean, but it’s also a fruit, a pulp and a tree. Chocolate is a treat made of cacao,

and if it’s like most of the candy we ate as kids, it doesn’t have all the nutritional benefits

you get from cacao. Don’t be confused. Here’s a basic rundown of what makes cacao cacao,

and what makes it wonderful!

Cacao beans come from a species of the theobroma, a small evergreen tree found in the

tropical areas of Central and South America.

The tree itself only grows to a height of twenty or so feet, and produces orange-ish fruit,

or pod, that rest close to the thick tree branches. The seeds of these fruit are the magic

ingredient. Each fruit contains about 50 seeds, surrounded by white pulp, which can be used

to make a refreshing drink resembling coconut water.

The seeds themselves are a fatty, concentrated “bean” that when ground up, gives up its

shape, and turns to a paste or “liquor” that is molded into bars. 40-50% of the paste is fat,

or cocoa butter, which, if separated out, leaves behind powdered cocoa. When mixed with

milk and sugar, cacao becomes a candy bar. However, when left alone, it produces a much

more nutritious food.

A higher percentage of cacao simply means less sugar (if the chocolate is “dark”).

Unsweetened baking chocolate is 100% cacao, and needless to say, is rather bitter.

Health from Cacao:

Cacao is reputed to have a large number of health benefits. Among these are its reputation

for fighting cancer and heart disease. Flavonols are the antioxidant component in pure

cacao, and the higher the percentage, the more you’re getting. Not only do flavonols fight

cancer and heart disease, but studies have correlated them to improved cholesterol levels,

and a lower risk of diabetes.

Cacao vs. Candy:

Refined sugar is a common component in chocolate candy, and this popular but somewhat

troublesome food additive is no friend to your overall health. If you’re deriving your

nutrition from servings of chocolate with high levels of sugar — and huge amounts are

often used to balance out the bitterness — you may not be doing yourself any favors. Try

cacao supplements instead, or try one of the dark chocolate products with a higher cacao

percentage. Soon you might find that you love them.

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