This article will look at a number of chocolate facts and go over its many pros and cons. Afterwards, you should be able to determine whether continuing to consume chocolate goes against or along with your goals of following the Paleo diet. Take note that the facts outlined here are general in nature, applying to most healthy individuals. Remember that some people react to chocolate and chocolate-containing foods in specific ways, so your decision shall depend upon your circumstances.
Where It’s From
Chocolate is a processed food taken from the seeds of the cacao tree. The cocoa bean, when fermented, yields cocoa butter and solids, which are used to prepare dark chocolate. Cocoa butter on the other hand, is used to produce white chocolate.
For people on the Paleo diet, chocolate can cause problems when mixed with milk, resulting in the popular milk chocolate. Milk and high amounts of sugar as you know, are not welcome in any decent Paleo diet meal plan.
Dark chocolate is rich in minerals such as manganese, iron, copper and magnesium. It’s a good snack to ease cravings for sweet foods, but contains very low sugar levels. Chocolate is also high in beneficial antioxidants, the body’s solution against the proliferation of damaging free radicals.
Chocolate contains high levels of phytic acid, which binds to important minerals such as magnesium, iron and calcium, thus preventing the body from absorbing them. Chocolate is also sometimes prepared by adding soy lecithin, and most soy is genetically modified, and it’s not on the Paleo diet anyway. For those who eat large quantities of chocolate, the sugar content can quickly add up. Chocolate also contains oxalates, which can hasten the forming of kidney stones.
There’s no doubt that chocolate is an enjoyable food eaten mainly for its diversity and enjoyment, and not its health effects. It’s a great and relatively harmless addition to the Paleo diet, and when compared to grains, certain vegetable oils and sugar, is far more beneficial to your health. To be safe, make sure to stick with dark chocolate made with more than 50 percent cocoa solids and low levels of sugar.
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½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup millet flour
¼ cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup non-dairy milk
6 tablespoons pumpkin puree (or canned organic pumpkin)
1 large organic egg
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or organic butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar
coconut oil or butter for cooking
Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl or Pyrex glass measuring cup whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and whisk together well.
Heat a heavy-bottomed stainless steel skillet over medium to medium-low heat. Add a little coconut oil or butter. Wait until your pan is thoroughly heated before cooking the pancakes. Begin making the pancakes by pouring ½ cup measurements at a time into the hot skillet. Cook for 60 to 90 seconds on each side.