Does Chocolate affect sleep
31st March 2022
Food

Cacao vs Cocoa: How Will Easter Chocolate Affect Your Sleep?

Easter is right around the corner and according to a 2021 poll by RetailMeNot, America’s favorite Easter candies were Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Eggs followed by Jellybeans, and close third was Cadbury Eggs. Chocolate is one of the leading confectionery items in the world and is enjoyed by people of all ages and genders. It contains antioxidant minerals and anti-inflammatory properties that help your body’s defense system fight against injury and illnesses.

Cacao plant that becomes chocolateThere are many varieties of chocolate you can purchase today, milk, white, dark, semi-sweet, bittersweet, cocoa powder, unsweetened, couverture, ruby, and a few others. All chocolate however is made from cacao beans from the Theobroma cacao tree. Theobroma cacao is derived from the Greek words for god (Theo) and food (brosi) so in essence, it translates to “Food of the Gods.” Many of us could not agree more and consume chocolate for all occasions, what’s a celebration without chocolate? But you know the saying, “too much of a good thing” is not good and the same applies to chocolate.

If it is so good, what makes it so bad? According to NIH chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine which is related to caffeine and found in cocoa beans, nuts, and tea. Theobromine is an alkaloid that has been found to increase heart rate, widen blood vessels, cause sleep issues, and is highly toxic to dogs and cats in copious quantities. Not to be overly concerned unless your 50lb dog consumes 5,000 mg of chocolate, keep in mind there is 175mg of Theobromine in a 1.5oz bar of sweet chocolate. Healthy chocolate products include cocoa powder, baking chocolate, and dark chocolate.

Here is a list of chocolate that is high in theobromine:

#1: Baking Chocolate (Unsweetened) 

Theobromine
per 1oz Square 
Theobromine
per 100g 
Theobromine
per 200 Calories 
376mg  1297mg  404mg 

#2: Dark Chocolate (70-85% Cocoa) 

Theobromine
per 1oz Square 
Theobromine
per 100g 
Theobromine
per 200 Calories 
228mg  802mg  268mg 

 #3: Dark Chocolate (60-69% Cocoa) 

Theobromine
per 1oz Square 
Theobromine
per 100g 
Theobromine
per 200 Calories 
179mg  632mg  218mg 

 #4: Sweet Chocolate Candies 

Theobromine
per 1.5oz Bar 
Theobromine
per 100g 
Theobromine
per 200 Calories 
175mg  426mg  168mg 

 #5: Hot Cocoa 

Theobromine
per Cup 
Theobromine
per 100g 
Theobromine
per 200 Calories 
170mg  68mg  177mg 

  #6: Dark Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans 

Theobromine
per oz (28 Beans) 
Theobromine
per 100g 
Theobromine
per 200 Calories 
147mg  368mg  136mg 

(Source)

White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate

Did you know that cheaper chocolates are labeled as “Chocolate Candy” and companies use artificial flavors to give them a chocolate-like feel due to the lack of cacao and cocoa butter in the actual candy. Expensive chocolate goes through a longer and more stringent refinement process that gives it the distinct characteristics of creamy and rich flavor. When shopping for chocolates, know what to look for. On average, all chocolates average 50% Cacao solids. Expensive chocolates have more cocoa butter, cheaper ones use vegetable oil, and add lots of sugar to increase the final weight of the candy. The texture is direct correlation to the quality of chocolate; the longer cacao is crushed the smoother the chocolate becomes as an end result.

The good news is if you still want that late-night sweet tooth chocolate craving without interrupting your sleep routine, grab the white chocolate since it contains no theobromine and very little if any caffeine.

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