25 Jan 2022 | 5 min Read
Author | 55 Articles
Who can resist a bar of chocolate or any dessert that contains chocolate for that matter? Chocolate makes life better! If you are pregnant and love chocolate, then all the more reason for you to binge on it.
But since you are expecting, you may wonder whether chocolate is healthy and safe for you. The answer is yes.
However, the nutritional value of chocolate depends on the type you choose–milk or dark?
Milk Chocolate Vs Dark Chocolate: What Mums-To-Be Must Know
Ingredients In Dark & White Chocolate
The ingredients in white and dark chocolate differ. While milk chocolate does not contain cocoa powder, dark chocolate has a high percentage of cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Milk chocolate is made of cocoa butter, milk, and sugar.
Is Chocolate Nutritious?
The nutrition in chocolate comes from cocoa since it contains flavonoids and dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa. It also has a higher level of protein and fiber.
On the other hand, white chocolate does not contain fiber, has a high percentage of added sugar, but is lower in saturated fat.
Dark chocolate has essential compounds like iron, magnesium, theobromine, and flavonoids. All of which are beneficial for pregnant women. White chocolate does not contain any of these compounds.
Iron helps maintain the hemoglobin count, while magnesium metabolizes the fatty acids. Theobromine lowers the risk of preeclampsia (a condition characterized by high blood pressure) during pregnancy.
Since dark chocolate contains flavonoids, it helps to regulate the cholesterol level during pregnancy. White chocolate does not contain cocoa solids which are a good source of flavonoids.
Immunity-Boosting Properties In Chocolate
The flavonoids present in dark chocolate have antioxidant properties which help pregnant women fight some cancers. It also improves immunity.
The darker the chocolate, the better it is for the heart. Since dark chocolate has antioxidant properties, it prevents heart diseases during pregnancy.
Benefits Of Dark Chocolate During Pregnancy
The health benefits of dark chocolate for pregnant women are many as compared to white chocolate
Pregnant women go through a lot of stress caused by hormonal changes. Eating dark chocolate enhances the happy hormone or the serotonin and endorphin levels and lowers the cortisol hormone known as the stress hormone.
Though the health benefits of dark chocolate for pregnant women are many as compared to white chocolate, dark chocolate has a higher level of saturated fat and caffeine. Too much of both are not good during pregnancy.
As far as calories are concerned, both white and dark chocolate are high in calories.
How Much Chocolate Can You Consume When You Are Pregnant?
Chocolate can be addictive. While it’s good to have chocolate when you are pregnant, there are certain things you need to keep in mind when you go on a chocolate-eating binge.
1. Chocolate is high in calories. If you are trying to control your calorie intake or are overweight, then it’s better to limit the amount of chocolate you consume.
2. The sugar content in chocolate, especially white chocolate is high. Those with a problem of gestational diabetes and high blood sugar should consume dark chocolate in small amounts. The suggested amount in such cases is around 20g.
3. Dark chocolate contains more caffeine than white chocolate. If you consume caffeine in any other form for e.g coffee or tea while you are pregnant, then your chocolate intake should be limited. The daily intake of caffeine during pregnancy should not be more than 200mg.
Alternatives That Can Satisfy Your Chocolate Craving
There are many healthy options for those chocolate cravings during pregnancy
You may think that there is nothing that can replace chocolate. But there are some healthy options for your chocolate cravings.
1. Snack Bars: The best alternative to chocolate are snack bars. These healthy bars can be made at home or bought off the shelves. There is a wide variety to choose from; granola bars, dry fruit bars, peanut butter bars, etc. The list is endless.
2. Ladoos: Homemade ladoos are the best!
3. Fruit Salad: Fruits are a healthy alternative to chocolates. When you get chocolate cravings, reach out for a bowl of fruit salad instead.
4. Ice-Cream: A modest serving of ice cream during pregnancy is sure to satisfy your sweet craving for chocolates.
5. Yogurt: Frozen yogurt is refreshing and tastes even better if you top it with your favorite fruits.
When you get those crazy chocolate cravings during pregnancy and no alternative helps, it is better to reach for a dark chocolate bar rather than the white one. But like they say, too much of anything is not good for health. Dark chocolate does have some great health benefits if consumed in moderation!
Before you overindulge, remember chocolate is full of calories!
DISCLAIMER: We have taken steps to check the accuracy of information & practices shared above; however, it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. Please check with either your doctor, or an expert, before trying any suggestion, practice, or medication mentioned here.