This special online-only edition of Exploring takes a closer look at the sweet lure of chocolate. We'll examine the fascinating -- and often misreported -- history of chocolate, follow the chocolate-making process, and take an online visit to a chocolate factory. We'll also look at the science of chocolate, and find out about the latest research into the possible health effects of its consumption. Lastly, we'll explore the somewhat controversial question of why chocolate make us feel so good.
While the above raw version is fantastic for using in no-bake treats or eating by the handful, if you want a version that you can bake with or that has the option of being oil-free, simply melt a bar of unsweetened chocolate and sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener of choice. You can add a tsp oil for smoother results, but it’s not required. Pour into a parchment-lined container or candy molds, and freeze until firm. Then break into small pieces or pop out of the molds. This version needs no refrigeration and can be used anywhere you’d use store-bought chocolate chips.
Carbohydrate has been wrongly accused of being a uniquely "fattening" macronutrient, misleading many dieters into compromising the nutritiousness of their diet by eliminating carbohydrate-rich food.[26] Low-carbohydrate diet proponents emphasize research saying that low-carbohydrate diets can initially cause slightly greater weight loss than a balanced diet, but any such advantage does not persist.[26][6] In the long-term successful weight maintenance is determined by calorie intake, and not by macronutrient ratios.[7][6]
Cacao pods are harvested by cutting them from the tree using a machete, or by knocking them off the tree using a stick. The beans with their surrounding pulp are removed from the pods and placed in piles or bins, allowing access to micro-organisms so fermentation of the pectin-containing material can begin. Yeasts produce ethanol, lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid, and acetic acid bacteria produce acetic acid. The fermentation process, which takes up to seven days, also produces several flavor precursors, eventually resulting in the familiar chocolate taste.[53]
By now we know that most of the world consumes way too much sugar. But it’s not like our sweet tooth cares—when a dessert craving hits, it hits bad. Many turn to alternative ways to satisfy it, using less-refined sugars like agave, honey, and coconut sugar, but we’re going a step further this time, with treats that use no added sweeteners whatsoever. From tarts to mousse, these sugar-free recipes still manage to make dessert even sweeter.

That approach provides the benefits of a drastically low-carb diet with none of the hazards. You’ll get the blood sugar advantages, including lower insulin levels. By eating plenty of lean protein, you’ll feel satisfied and less hungry. And by choosing “good” fats and limiting “bad” ones, you’ll keep LDL cholesterol from rising and protect your heart in the process. You’ll also discover a way of eating that you can enjoy—rather than endure—for the rest of your life.


Sounds like perhaps your chocolate seized? Can’t say for sure but a few tips for next time: 1. Use good quality chocolate like Ghirardelli…don’t use Baker’s, as it tends to seize more easily. 2. Melt it double-boiler style, especially if you are using an electric range (it’s harder to control the heat with electric). Set a bowl over a pot with some barely simmering water. This takes longer but melts the ingredients more gently. 

My numbers are all excellent. Take a look at my page on the cholesterol myth where I summarise some fabulous books on the subject. Once you go low carb, your triglycerides drop, HDL goes up and LDL becomes the larger fluffy type instead of the small oxidised destructive type. This is an incredible simplification but have a read and see what you think.
Chocolate may be a factor for heartburn in some people because one of its constituents, theobromine, may affect the esophageal sphincter muscle in a way that permits stomach acids to enter the esophagus.[76] Theobromine poisoning is an overdosage reaction to the bitter alkaloid, which happens more frequently in domestic animals than humans. However, daily intake of 50–100 g cocoa (0.8–1.5 g theobromine) by humans has been associated with sweating, trembling and severe headache.[77] Chocolate contains alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects in humans, but the presence of theobromine renders it toxic to some animals, such as dogs and cats.[78]
Made with 100 percent cacao, this chocolate bar is completely free of soy, gluten, dairy, and sugar — there's not even a touch of a sweetener. The bar itself weighs about 3 ounces, which reviewers mention lasts quite a while considering one or two bites of this rich chocolate bar is enough to satiate even the strongest chocolate cravings. In this pack, you'll get two chocolate bars for $12, which is a bit pricier than a generic store-bought option. But, most reviewers agree that after tasting this bar, they'll never go back to eating other chocolate. One reviewer raves, "I've gone to the absolute dark side — this is a quality chocolate, smooth, creamy and delicious."
Then don’t give up the fruit! Go for it. You sound like a fit and active person within the normal weight range. Generally the advice is to stay off excessive fruit, and high sugar fruit especially if people are overweight or have other health issues, then in that case fruit is not your friend. But with everything, eat within your personal carb limitations and eat to what is appropriate to you. Whole fruit is somewhat self limiting due to the fibre and water anyhow. You obviously have worked out a fabulous routine and it is working, so why change, stick with it Tom and enjoy 🙂

Besides Nestlé, a number of notable chocolate companies had their start in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rowntree's of York set up and began producing chocolate in 1862, after buying out the Tuke family business. Cadbury was manufacturing boxed chocolates in England by 1868.[14] In 1893, Milton S. Hershey purchased chocolate processing equipment at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and soon began the career of Hershey's chocolates with chocolate-coated caramels.
Absolutely go for the wine! As long as you go for an unsweetened wine and limit yourself. I only have a glass at the weekends as I know all my good intentions go out the window once I’ve had a glass and it’s harder to say no to more dark chocolate. If your weight loss ever stalls, you may need to reassess how many glasses you have as the alcohol will always be metabolised before anything else so weight loss will often stop. As for gluten, all my recipes are naturally gluten free because all my recipes are grain free. Read my post on Gluten free vs Grain free to truly understand. Beware of GF products because they are so high in carbs because they are made with rice flour, tapioca starch etc. And remember, gluten free junk is still junk 😉 Good luck Mary, keep coming back and asking questions.
I did it!! I didn’t want chocolate chips, I just want chocolate to eat on a regular basis (daily, hourly, you get the picture). So I poured it into ice cube molds with silicone bottoms and they popped out perfectly. I didn’t know as single thing about tempering until I read the comments after I was finished and it did turn whitish on the top and bottom, but it’s perfectly hard and tastes amazing! The sweetener needs tweaking (I might try xylitol next time, it doesn’t affect my stomach), but I am very pleased with the way it turned out!! Thank you so much for the recipe!!
In 2007, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association in the United States, whose members include Hershey, Nestlé, and Archer Daniels Midland, lobbied the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change the legal definition of chocolate to let them substitute partially hydrogenated vegetable oils for cocoa butter, in addition to using artificial sweeteners and milk substitutes.[57] Currently, the FDA does not allow a product to be referred to as "chocolate" if the product contains any of these ingredients.[58][59]
While the above raw version is fantastic for using in no-bake treats or eating by the handful, if you want a version that you can bake with or that has the option of being oil-free, simply melt a bar of unsweetened chocolate and sweeten to taste with your favorite sweetener of choice. You can add a tsp oil for smoother results, but it’s not required. Pour into a parchment-lined container or candy molds, and freeze until firm. Then break into small pieces or pop out of the molds. This version needs no refrigeration and can be used anywhere you’d use store-bought chocolate chips.
 But besides the cost of buying healthier chocolate at stores let’s talk about cravings shall we?! Giving in to chocolate cravings can be the biggest downfall when it comes to practicing a healthy lifestyle and/or trying to lose weight. But not indulging in chocolate just because you might lead a sugar free way of life or think you can’t possibly have it now that you need to lose weight, could put someone into depression! The key factor here is not so much enjoying chocolate, but it’s about the kind you are enjoying .
What makes some grub extra satisfying? "Fiber and protein can help," says Barbara Rolls, author of "The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet." Getting more bang for your bite matters, too: Low-energy-density foods, which yield big portions for few calories, "allow you to eat more without gaining weight," Rolls says. Want some of that? Make room for these secret-weapon picks.
Yay, another kiwi has discovered my website xxx I tend to shop mainly at New World and buy seeds, nuts, almond meal etc when they are discounted. The bulk bins are fine, but check the price per 100g, sometimes they are not as good value as regular packets that are “on special”. I also buy my veggies form the fruit and veg shops when I am near them, I find the supermarkets to be incredibly overpriced generally. Good luck and enjoy all the new recipes here. 🙂

Firstly read the “How to start” page which will cover how to start slowly and give up the most obvious places of sugar first, then cut back on all carbs such as bread, pasta, rice, starchy vegetables etc. You must also cut back on all seed oils such as canola, sunflower, margarine, spreads etc. These cause inflammation. Go back to healthy fats such as olive oil, butter, coconut oil, etc. Take a look at the lists on the page. To make your own meal plan, take a look at all my breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes. Choose which ones are easy to start with such as scrambled eggs for breakfast, salad and last nights dinner for lunch, and dinner meals made the low carb way. Join us on Facebook and Pinterest too for more ideas and suggestions. Good luck xxx
Low-carbohydrate diets or carbohydrate-restricted diets (CRDs) are diets that restrict carbohydrate consumption. Foods high in carbohydrates (e.g., sugar, bread, pasta) are limited or replaced with foods containing a higher percentage of fats and moderate protein (e.g., meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, cheese, nuts, and seeds) and other foods low in carbohydrates (e.g., most salad vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard and collards), although other vegetables and fruits (especially berries) are often allowed.

All participants attended a weekly exercise, group support and educational program and completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale at the beginning and end of the study. The HPLC diet appeared to help balance hormones naturally and was associated with significant reductions in various depressive symptoms, enhanced feelings of well-being and higher likelihood of having better compliance with long-term treatment of obesity.
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