Most chocolate lovers realize that chocolate is generally considered junk food and has a high number of calories, but they can’t resist the temptation to indulge. However, with a shift towards healthier eating, individuals are trying to cut calories from their diets and the first thing that is usually cut from their diets is junk food. This means that chocolate lovers may deprive themselves of the indulgent sensations that chocolate provides them with. But, if you’re a chocolate lover you’ll be excited to learn that researchers from the University of Warwick have found a way to replace up to 50% of the fat content found in chocolate with fruit juice, this decreases the number of calories and helps to make chocolate a slightly healthier treat.
Chocolate Not Always Junk Food
The fat that is in chocolate is responsible for giving chocolate the indulgent sensations that most people look for when they eat junk food. However, the researchers in the current study found a way to keep the indulgent sensations of chocolate that people look for the same, by using fruit juice instead of fat. The researchers removed the ingredients that are responsible for the majority of the calories in chocolate, including most of the cocoa butter and milk, and replaced it with droplets of orange or cranberry juice. They infused orange and cranberry juice into white, milk and dark chocolate using a technique called Pickering emulsion to create a product with fewer calories. The researchers admit that the final product does taste slightly fruity. However, they state that there is a technique that can use water and a small amount of Vitamin C instead of juice to maintain a more chocolaty taste which may appeal more to chocolate lovers.
This research may be the beginning of new, low-fat, healthier chocolate bars that contain fewer calories and can be consumed in our diets without the worry of consuming needless calories from fat. The fruit juices that are infused into the chocolate contain sugar, so you’re not removing all of the unhealthy calories from chocolate. However, a look at the calorie content of fat compared to sugar shows that by replacing fat content with sugar content, you are reducing the calories by more than half. 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories, while 1 gram of sugar (which is a carbohydrate) contains 4 calories.
Chocolate in an Individual Diet
Chocolate manufacturers should utilize the results from this research to develop healthier chocolate options that can be consumed in moderation in our diets. If manufacturers are able to develop a chocolate bar that tastes and feels identical to regular chocolate, but has a lower fat content and fewer calories that would be ideal for consumers. It may help people to lose weight while not sacrificing all of the junk food in their diets. A healthier chocolate option will provide a nice treat for chocolate lovers, once in a while, while helping to keep the number of calories consumed in check.