Friday, January 16, 2009

Sugar Free

The beginnings of chocolate began in the ancient cultures of the Mayas and the Aztecs, who spent over five hundred years drinking it without sugar. Not until it was introduced to Europe that chocolate was sweetened for the refined palate that wanted a richer taste.  Fast forward two thousand years, and we’ve gone back to where it all started - sugarfree chocolate!
Although sugar-free chocolate was not very popular initially, more and more people are shifting over to it for numerous health benefits. In fact, the number of sugar free chocolates being consumed by consumers has been growing dramatically as have the number of chocolatiers that are creating new and gourmet sugarfree chocolates. Weight-watching has become an unconscious norm in our society, and with sugar-free chocolate candies, chocoholics can finally get their daily fix of chocolate with less worry about their waistlines.
Chocolate, and particularly dark chocolate, can actually be very healthy for you.  There are new studies coming out regularly regarding the benefits of chocolate to your health.  However, you have to be careful because the sugar content in it tends to wipe out any health benefits gained! Sugarfree chocolate choices are easier to find online, as compared to supermarkets. While supermarkets have a range of sugar-free and portion-controlled chocolate bars, the selection and quality of available sugarfree chocolates is greater when you are online shopping.
While there are a number of sweetners on the market, the main ingredient that most chocolate companies use in lieu of sugar is maltitol. Maltitol is essentially a type of sugar alcohol, and is a substitute for the actual sugar in sugar-free chocolates. According to research, the sugar replacement contains other compounds such as mannitol, xylitol and sorbitol.
Chocolates containing this sugar alcohol are also frequently referred to as diabetic chocolates. This is due to the fact that this sugar replacement cannot be absorbed into the blood-stream, and hence does not require insulin to break it down. So, for the diabetic chocoholics out there, there’s no call to curb those urges! Eaten in reasonable quantities, diabetic’s can enjoy a delicious gourmet chocolate break as well!
Although most chocolate companies do produce sugar-free products, they require that you read the possible side-effects from these. Eaten in large quantities, these products can have laxative effect.  Since the sugar replacement cannot be absorbed into the blood-stream, it passes through the digestive system quickly! It’s a good way to make sure that you pay attention to portion control when enjoying your sweet treat -
When watching your weight or paying attention to calories and carbs, every calorie counts! With sugarfree chocolates, you’re saving yourself a little bit of extra working out per week and still having a delicious chocolate treat once in awhile.  However, you should keep in mind that although the sugar content is gone, these chocolates still contain cocoa butter, which contains a lot of saturated fat! So keep to the limits!
There are many, many different types of sugar-free chocolate candies. White chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate lollipops, chocolate truffles, chocolate turtles, chocolate kisses, are all types of chocolate candies that can be produced sugar-free! While some companies specialize in sugar free chocolate candies, others produce only traditional chocolates. The trick is to know which sugarfree ones provide the best candies!
There are some sugar free chocolates that taste exactly like the traditional chocolates.   By using high quality ingredients and delicious flavors, these gourmet sugar free chocolates taste delicious and you can not notice that they are missing the sugar!  Due to the quality and cost of the ingredients, these products will be more expensive than supermarket type products.  However, when you want to truly enjoy some delicious sugarfree chocolates, these will truly satisfy!
In the making of sugar-free chocolates at home, always remember that the key ingredient for having sweet tasting candies is sugar alcohol! This can be obtained at most grocery stores or online shopping sites. You can get this as powder or liquid form. However, when making this type of chocolate it is slightly more difficult as compared to traditional chocolates.
All in all, gourmet sugarfree chocolates are decadent and delicious treats for the palate! Not only do they help keep you healthy, they also can taste just as good as traditional chocolates. Remember, the darker the chocolate, the more flavonoids it contains, and thus, the better for you! So if you want to stay healthy and enjoy your chocolate, why not acquire a taste for dark, sugar free chocolate candies? You’ll definitely be happier and healthier in the long run! Thinner too!