Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Myth-Melting Study Finds: Chocolate Burns Belly Fat, Improves Cholesterol

Friday, July 8th, 2016
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, Running Press, 2011

To our loyal Choclatique blog followers: It isn’t too often that I forward a scientific study to our website. In this case I will make an exception. While I follow most of them, many are very boring, but this one caught my attention.  That said, I must point out that this was a pilot study with a very small sample size (just 15 people) and a very short duration (just 1 week).  The results and conclusions, while instructive, are not projectable to the population at large.

We have known for years that chocolate has over 300 beneficial chemical compounds. Now, a study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences has shown that chocolate can improve markers of cardiovascular disease, including the reduction of belly fat, and only after one week of consumption.

When we originally formulated Choclatique Q-91, our functional chocolate, we knew that it was developed and formulated with many healthful benefits in mind.

  • Choclatique Q-91 is a premium dark chocolate rich in flavanols and antioxidants.
  • Choclatique Q-91 is our super-dark, bittersweet, premium chocolate high in cacao mass.
  • One of the most pleasant effects of eating Choclatique Q-91 is the “euphoric feeling” that many people experience after indulging.
  • Recent medical research has linked the antioxidants found in cacao—the fruit from which chocolate is made—to decreases in blood pressure and reductions of “bad” cholesterol levels.
  • Dark chocolate is a known to be a safe stimulant (and is also thought to be an aphrodisiac).
  • Choclatique Q-91 is low in sugar and rich in flavanols which many physicians and nutritionists say are beneficial to your health.

Now grab a piece of dark chocolate and read on to see what the researchers have to say about the potential benefits of chocolate.

Date: June 27, 2016

Natural Health, Natural Medicine

A study published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences has revealed something quite counterintuitive about chocolate, one of the world’s most prized ‘high-fat’ foods. This strangely medicinal ‘sweat treat,’ which ironically you find in the candy aisle at the pharmacy, improved markers of cardiovascular disease, including the reduction of belly fat, and only after one week of consumption.

Researchers from the Department of Neuroscience, Division of Human Nutrition, University of Tor Vergata, Rome, in a paper titled ‘Effects of dark chocolate in a population of Normal Weight Obese women: a pilot study,’ describe the effects of 100 gram of dark chocolate taken for one week (approximately a 3 ounce bar) in so-called ‘normal weight obese (NWO)’ syndrome subjects.

NWO syndrome is defined as ‘an excessive body fat associated with a normal body mass index and characterized by a higher risk for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality,’ and has been found to be associated with a 2.2 fold increased risk of cardiovascular mortality in women compared with those with low body fat.[1] Generally, those with NWO have 30% or more total body fat mass percentage and significantly higher values of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α.[2] [3] [4]

The study looked at the effects of dark chocolate consumption on the following:

  • Blood lipid profiles
  • Biochemical parameters (e.g. interleukins)
  • Blood pressure
  • Abdominal circumference (i.e. ‘belly fat’)

A modest sample size of 15 women with NWO syndrome, aged 20-40 years, were included in the study. They received 100 grams of dark chocolate (DC) containing 70% cocoa for 7-days. Dual energy-X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to measure body composition. Blood pressure, anthropometric measurements, biochemical parameters and plasma levels of some cytokines were measured before and after DC consumption.

The results were described as follows:

After DC [dark chocolate] consumption, we observed a significant increase in the HDL cholesterol level (Delta% = +10.41±13,53; p ≤ 0.05), a significant decrease of total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio (Delta %= -11.45±7.03; p ≤ 0.05), LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio (Delta % = -11.70±8.91; p ≤ 0.05), and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) (Delta % = -32.99±3.84; p ≤ 0.05). In addition, a reduction in abdomen circumference was observed. We also found a positive correlation between changes in atherogenic indices, and IL-1Ra, abdomen reduction.

The authors concluded:

Our findings suggest that regular consumption of DC could be useful in maintaining a good atherogenic profile, due to the favorable effects on HDL cholesterol, lipoprotein ratios and inflammation markers.


This study should debunk several myths regarding chocolate consumption, such as ‘it makes you fat,’ ‘it clogs your arteries,’ or ‘it is bad for blood sugar.’ While low-cocoa chocolate, which is often high in sugar and may contain cow’s milk products, preservatives and lower quality fats, may not translate into the benefits observed in this study, a high-quality, high-cocoa chocolate may go quite a long way in enhancing general health and well-being. This is especially so if one chooses organically-produced, fair-trade and preferably raw chocolate. The raw part is especially important as the potent antioxidant compounds in cocoa are found at much higher and physiologically relevant concentrations in the non-heated and unprocessed forms. Indeed, according to the authors of this study, “[the] health properties of cocoa consumption were mainly related [in previous research] to the antioxidant properties of polyphenolic compounds, among others monomeric flavanols, epicatechin, catechin and oligomeric, procyanidins.”

The specific sample of dark chocolate used in this study was assayed to contain the following compounds:

It is believed that one of the primary lipid-modulating, and HDL-raising compounds in high-quality chocolate is the saturated stearic acid found in the cocoa butter. This is also a counterintuitive finding since many decades of propaganda has convinced the mainstream that ‘saturated’ fats are bad and ‘unsaturated’ fats are good. As the researchers state:

Because of its high saturated fat content, chocolate is often postulated to have a hypercholesterolemic effect. However, the high content of stearic acid (~30% of fatty acids) is considered to be neutral with respect to total and LDL cholesterol, and positive on serum concentration of HDL.”

It is truly remarkable that the dark chocolate was capable of raising the so-called ‘good’ HDL cholesterol 10% within only 7 days. This is a feat pharmaceutical lipid-modulating drugs can not accomplish, unless we are talking about patented forms of niacin (Niaspan) or fish oil (Lovaza), which really don’t count since they are really just glorified dietary supplements.

Previously, we looked at how chocolate – believe it or not – could replace the need for the $29 billion dollar plus cholesterol-lowering statin drug industry, by addressing and remedying the underlying pathology of the blood vessels (endothelial dysfunction) that leads to atherosclerosis and eventual cardiac morbidity and mortality. We feel the research, if you would like to peruse it, is remarkably compelling: Chocolate Gives Statins A $29 Billion Run For Their Money

When it is all said and done, chocolate should not be viewed simply as a natural “medicine,’ to suppress bodily symptoms or clinical parameters, as anyone who ‘loves’ the way it makes them feel can plainly tell. As my friend Marc David pointed out in his recent article on Vitamin P[leasure], the experience of joy within the enjoyment of chocolate is itself a highly medicinal ‘nutritional fact’ that will never make it onto the label of a product, nor will be easily (if ever) comprehended through clinical trials. Let the research support what most of us already know: food can be medicine, yes, but the point is to use it in moderate, culinary doses so that mega-dose, heroic ‘medicine’ will never become necessary. [this is one of the basic principles of my project with Tania Melkonian called EATomology]

For additional research on the health benefits of chocolate and/or cocoa please visit our research page dedicated to the topic:


[1] ROMERO-CORRAL A, SOMERS VK, SIERRA-JOHNSON J, KORENFELDY, BOARIN S, KORINEK J, JENSEN MD, PARATI G, LOPEZJIMENEZ F. Normal weight obesity: a risk factor for cardiometabolic dysregulation and cardiovascular mortality. Eur Heart J 2010; 31: 737-746.

[2] DI RENZO L, GLORIA-BOTTINI F, SACCUCCI P, BIGIONI M, ABENAVOLI L, GASBARRINI G, DE LORENZO A. Role of interleukin-15 receptor alpha polymorphisms in normal weight obese syndrome. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol 2009; 22: 105-113.

[3] DI RENZO L, GALVANO F, ORLANDI C, BIANCHI A, DI GIACOMO C, LA FAUCI L, ACQUAVIVA R, DE LORENZO A. Oxidative stress in normal-weight obese syndrome. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2010; 18: 2125-2130.

[4] MEHRINFAR R, FRISHMAN WH. Flavanol-rich cocoa: a cardioprotective nutraceutical. Cardiol Rev 2008; 16: 109-115.

© June 27, 2016 GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

Need Chocolate… NOW!! Those Chocolate Cravings Are Real

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

While there are plenty of t-shirts, key chains, throw pillows and other tshotshkes that offer humorous axioms about our NEED for chocolate, the fact is there are some solid scientific and medical reasons that confirm that our cravings are real.

First, there are over 300 chemical compounds in dark chocolate some of which react within the human brain to affect and alter mood and reduce stress. For example, both sexes benefit when our brains release dopamine in response to the pleasurable experience of eating and enjoying chocolate. Additionally, research has shown that the flavanols in chocolate help us to react more effectively to stressful situations than when those flavanols are not present.

Consumption of cocoa increases nitric oxide, a naturally occurring chemical in our bodies. Nitric oxide acts on small receptors in our blood vessels and prompts the vessels to dilate. This process lowers blood pressure. High blood pressure is associated with many types of heart disease including heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and atherosclerosis. High blood pressure is also associated with cognitive decline, dementia, and stroke.

For females, Nutritionist Lisa Eberly, RD, says there are physiological-based reasons why chocolate cravings may seem more intense during your period. Chocolate contains relatively high levels of magnesium and potassium. Magnesium acts as a muscle relaxant and potassium aids in proper muscle function. Eating chocolate therefore can help relieve muscle cramps, including pelvic that affects so many women during their periods. Magnesium and potassium can aid in relaxing the cramps and the pain associated with them.

Chocolate is also high in iron, and iron levels tend to fall during periods due to blood loss, resulting in fatigue. Chocolate consumption helps to boost iron levels which, in turn, help to improve energy levels. Further, chocolate contains caffeine which can provide an energy boost as well as reduce inflammation associated with pain and headaches.

And if all of the physical explanations are reason enough for you to nibble on a piece of luscious dark chocolate, well then, do it just for the taste! Choclatique’s 64% Private Reserve and our 76% Elephant Chocolate are sure to put a smile on your lips and a spring in your step!

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The ChocolateDoctor Could Chocolate Be Better for Your Teeth Than Fluoride?

Friday, February 13th, 2015
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I know many, if not all, of our US municipal water supplies are treated with fluoride. I remember having fluoride treatments in the dental office growing up—all this to prevent dental cavities. My dentist would put a little fluoride in a shot glass and carefully apply a light coating over each tooth with a Q-tip. Imagine my surprise when I read an article recently informing me that fluoride is a toxic industrial waste product that is a poison to your system even in small amounts.

One has to start to ask, are there not far better options for decreasing tooth decay than ingesting a harmful industrial pollutant or using a topical poison like fluoride? Chocolate to the rescue—new research suggests a chocolate extract would make a better alternative.

I don’t think moms and dads would have any trouble coaxing their little ones to brush two times a day with a chocolate toothpaste if it works better than fluoride. A recent study presented at the American Dental Association this year compared fluoride toothpaste to a new toothpaste containing the naturally-occurring cacao extract theobromine.

This test determined the theobromine toothpaste repaired and re-mineralized exposed dentin better than the fluoride. Exposed dentin is a leading cause of tooth hypersensitivity. The results showed that patients who brushed their teeth with the cacao-extract toothpaste twice a day for one week had 100 percent dental occlusion with their tooth dentin becoming re-mineralized or repaired.

According to a release: [PRNewswire October 31, 2013] “The comparison to toothpastes containing fluoride—one as much as 5,000 parts per million—validates what our research has shown all along: that Rennou (the cocoa extract)… is more effective and safer than fluoride.”

Past research has also shown that the chocolate ingredient theobromine works better than fluoride when treating lesions in artificial enamel. Remineralization occurred at a greater rate than when they were treated with fluoride. The study found that theobromine made teeth less vulnerable to bacterial acid erosion that could lead to cavities.

With potential alternatives like theobromine, which are not harmful when swallowed, it’s unfortunate that fluoride can still be found in a vast assortment of toothpastes, mouthwashes and professionally applied fluoride treatments.

The ChocolateDoctor suggests that using a tooth paste containing natural ingredients, like theobromine, appears to be more effective and safer than fluoride-containing toothpastes. Above all, don’t forget to practice good oral hygiene—brushing after meals and getting regular dental cleanings and check-ups, too.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

What’s Not To Love About Chocolate?

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

In my book, Choclatique—150 Simply 150 Elegant Desserts, I compared chocolate to the food of the gods. Not only does chocolate make us feel good emotionally, according to a growing community of medical researchers and health professionals it also contributes positively to our physical well being.

As I have written before, eating chocolate improves physical health. A substantial amount of research shows that cocoa flavanols may help control blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health overall. Eating dark chocolate, low in sugar, may also help control blood sugar, and prevents the growth of 1caries which is the bacteria that causes dental cavities. And preliminary research suggests that cocoa flavanols may boost brain health and memory. Scientists aren’t sure how it happens, but surmise that cocoa flavanols may increase blood flow—and therefore oxygen—to the brain. Increasing blood to certain parts of the male anatomy also helps ones’ sex life. Chocolate may very well do for that part of the body what Viagra does, but for far less money.

It turns out that chocolate-lovers may even be more lovable and better lovers! A study published in 2012 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that people who love sweets are likely to be more “sweet.” This may be caused by a change in brain chemistry. The consumption of chocolate floods the brain with dopamine which lights up the reward center of the brain and lifts mood. You can actually see it on a MRI.

The five words that we’ve chosen to identify with chocolate at Choclatique are Passion, Joy, Delight, Desire and Seduction. Following on the latter, one of the most seductive qualities of good chocolate is that it melts precisely at human body temperature, which provides a sensual experience unlike any other food.

Yes, chocolate may truly be the food of the gods.

1 Dental caries, also known as tooth decay or a cavity, is an infection, bacterial in origin, that causes demineralization and destruction of the hard tissues of the teeth—enamel, dentin and cementum. It is a result of the production of acid by bacterial fermentation of food debris accumulated on the tooth surface. If demineralization exceeds saliva and other remineralization factors such as from calcium and fluoridated toothpastes, these once hard tissues progressively break down, producing dental caries or cavities. Today, caries remain one of the most common diseases throughout the world.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The ChocolateDoctor’s Prescription to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Naturally with Chocolate

Friday, January 17th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

It’s the end of January—the holidays are behind us, yet the holiday bills lay before you. Vacations are over, the back-to-work grind is wearing on your patience, and two weeks into the New Year you’ve already failed on your resolutions, whatever they might be.

Sound familiar? There’s a reason these are the most depressing days of the year.

Here’s the solution? Eat more chocolate. I’m not kidding. There’s no better food to connect the dots between mind and body than the deliciously emotional, palpably physical response we all have to eating pure chocolate,” writes Will Cower, PhD, neurophysiologist, neuroscientist, and nutritionist in his new book, Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight. As gimmicky as it might sound, eating chocolate might be the best natural remedy for anxiety you’re not using and science has shown that it goes beyond the mere mood –elevating buzz you get from gobbling up a Crunch bar on the way home from work.

Cortisol and Cocoa
You’ve seen those awful weight-loss commercials. The part that is true is that stress prompts your body to produce cortisol. Research has shown that heavier women have higher levels of cortisol than women of normal weight. Cortisol also triggers the accumulation of abdominal, or visceral, fat, which builds up around your organs and can contribute to depression, along with heart disease and stroke.

In a 2009 study it was reported that people who ate about an ounce of chocolate a day for two weeks saw decreases in cortisol in their systems compared to its levels at the start of the study. Another study a year later showed that, over the course of 30 days, people who ate cocoa daily had 10 percent lower levels of anxiety and considered themselves 10 percent calmer than they had been at the start of the study.

The key to success is prevention, not reaction. Studies finding that chocolate has a positive impact on mood and anxiety all looked at consumption over the course of 30 days, while studies looking at people who consume chocolate in response to stress found those people generally feel as depressed after their chocolate fix as they did before it. They experience a short “mood elevation” that lasts about three minutes, and then disappears. That’s just about long enough to reach for another chocolate bar.

Eat Chocolate and Lose Weight
There are over 300 positive chemical compounds in chocolate. Eating chocolate over time allows one’s body to build up levels of cocoa’s polyphenols, which are responsible for regulating stress hormones. The cocoa polyphenols don’t immediately boost mood, satisfaction, calmness or contentedness. This happens only when chocolate is eaten slowly and steadily over a period of time. In other words, a patient chocolate eater is a happy chocolate eater.

Eat It Right
You won’t reap the mood-boosting benefits of chocolate by reaching for that bag full of fun-size caramels and nougats, or even by eating a chocolate bar a day. If you want chocolate to truly make a difference and leave you happy and less stressed, your approach to eating it needs to be a little more nuanced.

Dark vs. Milk
Dark chocolate is less stressful than milk chocolate, for lots of reasons. Milk chocolate is loaded with sugar and other additives, while also being devoid of most of cocoa’s healthier components. The milk in milk chocolate tends to blocks the body’s absorption of the antidepressant antioxidants. Studies analyzing the healthfulness of chocolate rely on dark chocolates with at least 70 percent cacao or even unsweetened 100-percent cocoa powder. Functional chocolates such as Choclatique Q-91 or Choclatique Elephant Chocolate (76%) are perfect for this need.

Eat Small Amounts
Once you find a chocolate you like, take it in small doses. To battle stress and anxiety—take one ounce a day for at least eight weeks. But divide that one ounce into five portions a day. That will be roughly the size of the end joint on your thumb. Stick with an ounce a day. There isn’t any evidence that eating more is a benefit that will make you feel even better.

Eat It Slowly
Don’t chew, or even suck on, your chocolate pieces. Savor the flavor by letting the chocolate sit on your tongue and melt slowly. The added time you spend slowly tasting your chocolate is time you’re not popping more into your mouth. The flavor lingers and your brain thinks you’re eating the entire time so you’re less likely to overindulge.

Choclatique Dark Chocolates are low in sugar and high in cocoa mass. They are slowly-roasted all the way through. There in no “green” left in the bean. This leaves a very pleasant, fruity flavor in your mouth with cherry, berry, and fruit wine notes—it is never bitter or brittle. Even Choclatique Midnight Unsweetened Chocolate (100% cacao), used primary for baking and cooking, has a tolerable flavor. But, if you’re not into dark chocolates, try using cocoa powder like Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. About half cup, or eight tablespoons, of 100 percent unsweetened cocoa powder will give you the same nutrients and mood lift as the one ounce of dark chocolate a day. Add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to your morning oatmeal, use a few teaspoons in your favorite vinaigrette, or cook with it. Avoid “Dutch” cocoa, which has been heavily processed which loses many of the benefits you are looking for.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

Chocolate and Your Skin

Friday, January 10th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I was getting my haircut at Umberto in Beverly Hills. This is an ultra-chi-chi hair salon that is always in the forefront of “everything beautiful.” (Side note: I’m hardly beautiful and have very little hair left. I just go there because they make what I have look like so much more.) I digress! As I was getting ready to leave, everyone was going over to the make-up area because they had just received a shipment of coconut oil cosmetics. So I figured if you can do something that great for your skin with coconut derivatives, you should be able to do something with cacao, right?

I was particularly interested in cocoa butter as that is the closest to coconut oil. Cocoa butter is not a decadent chocolate spread you slather on a warm croissant, although the young ladies on the beaches in Santa Monica used to liberally apply it as a suntan lotion before we knew about such things as sun block.

Cocoa butter is from the cacao bean which is found inside the cocoa pod that grows on the cacao tree (pronounced ca-cow). The cocoa pod (pictured here with yours truly) is a large gourd-shaped fruit filled with cocoa beans. The beans are dried, roasted and when pressed, the cocoa butter or fat from the beans is released. Cocoa butter has many possible uses, one of which offers positive benefits to your skin. (Another side note: you do not get pimples from eating or applying chocolate to any part of your body.)

Cocoa butter is packed with antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals. Free radicals cause skin stress which can accelerate signs of skin aging (wrinkling and lines). Cocoa butter is widely known as a stretch mark eraser and is one of those secret mommy tips shared by pregnant woman around the world. Many women claimed that regular use of cocoa butter kept their stretch marks away. Many claim the cocoa butter also helps heal scars. Cocoa butter is high in fatty acids and hydrates the skin deeply and has reportedly helped skin irritations such as eczema and dermatitis.

Cocoa butter is easy to find and inexpensive. While not offered on our website you can place a call or send an email and we can provide you with some from our secret stash.

Like chocolate, cocoa butter melts at body temperature (98.6º or so). Its texture is hard at lower temperatures and difficult to work with. When warmed it immediately starts to melt. This is why it is a perfect additive to products like lip balm. It helps keep it thick, but melts and deeply moisturizes upon contact with your lips.

We asked the ladies in the Chocolate Studio to take a shot at making an all-purpose body butter using both cocoa butter and coconut oils. It only takes about 30 minutes to make. Here are their fantastic results.

1 cup cocoa butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup sweet almond oil

Wow, this sounds good enough to eat. It is so simple to make.


  1. Using a double boiler, melt the cocoa butter and oils until fully liquid.
  2. In a large bowl, blend together the melted mixture and set in the freezer to harden for about 20 minutes.
  3. When the mixture is solid again, but not too hard, whip it using an electric mixer or a food processor fitted with a whisk attachment; whisk until you have fluffy white peaks (it should look like whipped cream).
  4. Spoon it into a clean fancy jar. It will keep for months. Now just slather it on! The richness of this mixture makes it a great night-time moisturizer.

ChefSecret: Depending on where you live and what the climate is you may want to experiment with the ratio of cocoa butter and coconut oil to suit your texture preference.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor


Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

It’s nearly the end of the year… just a few short weeks from Christmas and you haven’t even started shopping. You just got a cancellation notice on your health insurance and your expected year-end commission has been cut in half. Are you feeling stressed?

Stress is a normal part of life, but we also need to find ways to relieve it. Two squares of dark chocolate—Choclatique Elephant or Q-91 Chocolate—could be just the prescription the doctor ordered to change your attitude by lowering your stress hormone levels.

Why do I we get so wound up when feeling stressed? Going back to our caveman instincts, stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones in our brains that prepare us for action to either fight or flee. If we don’t take action, the stress response can create health problems. Prolonged, uninterrupted, unexpected, and unmanageable stress is very damaging to our bodies and minds.

As recently reported in the online issue of the Journal of Proteome Research, a group of Swiss researchers tracked volunteers that were highly stressed. In this study, strong evidence indicated that daily consumption of only 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate—low in sugar—during a period of two weeks was sufficient to modify the metabolism of the healthy human volunteers. The chocolate also appeared to help correct other imbalances in the body that are related to stress.

Now you may ask, won’t chocolate make people fat? That’s certainly possible, but scientists at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, point out other positive benefits… dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which are beneficial to health overall and other substances in chocolate appear to reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol along with other medical conditions.

So take this as free advice from the doctor—The ChocolateDoctor… take two chocolate squares and call me in the morning. Here’s wishing you sweet dreams and stress-free chocolate wishes for the holidays!

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

The ChocolateDoctor’s Stone Age Chocolate Frosting
(Perfect for Those People on a Paleo Diet)

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Okay, this was new and even a little weird and strange for me. One of our customers sent me a recipe for a Chocolate Frosting made out of, get this, avocados—yes, those beautiful little green, pear-shaped fruits that grow on trees and don’t begin to ripen until they are off the stem. It was the name, Stone Age Chocolate Frosting that got to me. What the heck does this mean? Okay, I was off to the internet to look up the words Stone Age and Diet. Here’s what I discovered.

CavemanIt comes for the Paleolithic Diet—Paleo Diet or popularly known as the caveman or hunter-gatherers’ diet. It is assumed to be a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic period—about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. While this diet claims to provide a healthier lifestyle, it should be noted, however, that the lifespan of the Upper Paleolithic (Late Stone Age) man was only about 33 years from birth.

This diet is centered on commonly available “modern” foods, consisting mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots and nuts. It excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar and processed oils. I guess I could live on that.

Paleo ManThe Paleo Diet was first popularized in the mid-1970s by gastroenterologist Dr. Walter L. Voegtlin. I found that this nutritional concept has been promoted and adapted by a number of authors and researchers in several books and academic journals. Paleolithic nutrition is based on the premise that modern humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors and that human genetics have scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture and therefore it is an ideal diet for human health and well-being and is one that resembles this ancestral diet.

The avocados and coconut oil give this Paleo-inspired chocolate frosting a healthy dose of plant-based fats (instead of butter or Crisco) creating a tasty new way to top cookies and cupcakes which do have to be made out of grains. Oh, there goes another fad diet.

Okay, it tastes a little different. It only takes minutes to make and it’s good for a lot of around-the-table dinner conversation. Try it and let me know what you think.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 10 minutes
Yield: 10 Servings

2 ripe medium size avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup Choclatique Natura Cocoa Powder (Un-alkalized, I’m getting into the spirit of the diet)
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Blend avocados, cocoa powder, honey, coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt together in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor

Health Benefit Detected In White Chocolate

Friday, January 18th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

White Chocolate BlockI am always surprised at how many five and ten pound blocks of white chocolate we sell at Choclatique. Of course, I think our Snowy White Chocolate is the best white chocolate in the marketplace and I have to suppose that many of our customers feel that way too based upon our sales history.

Over the last several years independent studies have proven dark chocolate has heart, skin and even brain health benefits which are linked to the flavanol content. Dark chocolate can even reduce the growth of caries which cause tooth decay. White chocolate, which does not contain the beneficial flavanols found in dark chocolate still provides cardiovascular benefits, which researchers at Molecular Nutrition & Food Research have reported. The study found benefits in dark, milk and white chocolate, and found improved platelet function among men who consumed both the white and the dark chocolate. However, women seem to have better results with dark chocolate only.

For the last several years the research on the benefits relating to chocolate has grown. Montezuma must have known that not only was chocolate a great aphrodisiac, but the Holy Grail when it comes to health. Always do as the ChocolateDoctor recommends: Take two truffles and call me in the morning.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor


Dark Chocolate Lowers Risks of Heart Attack, Stroke

Friday, October 5th, 2012
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

AustraliaThe research keeps coming in and getting better on the health benefits of dark chocolate. Researchers in Australia collected data over 2,000 people who had metabolic syndrome—which is a cluster of medical issues that includes high blood pressure, a large waist and low levels of “good” cholesterol—and used mathematical equations to predict how eating a dose of dark chocolate daily could affect the number of strokes and heart attacks the group would be expected to have. And they found that eating dark chocolate every day may lower the risk of having a heart attack or stroke for people at higher risk of these conditions.

Based on their results, the researchers calculated that for every 10,000 people with metabolic syndrome who ate 3.5 ounces (100g) of dark chocolate every day for 10 years, 70 non-fatal and 15 fatal cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks or strokes, could be prevented.

In the past studies have shown that the risk of cardiovascular disease can be lowered over the short-term by eating compounds called flavonoids, which are abundant in dark chocolate. Flavonoids are known to have antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory effects, which relieve pressures on the heart.

The new study suggests that eating dark chocolate is a cost-efficient way to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes. The researchers noted that the study only looked at strokes and heart attacks, so how dark chocolate might affect the risks of other cardiovascular diseases, such as heart failure, must still be assessed.

Sanofi AventisThe study was published on May 31st 2001 in the British Medical Journal, and was funded by the Australian Research Council and the drug company Sanofi-Aventis Australia.

Q-91ChefSecret: Let people with higher risk of heart attack or stroke know that adding dark chocolate, like Choclatique Q-91, to their daily diet may reduce health-related risks.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor