Thursday, February 3, 2011

Did you Know? - Carob VS Chocolate

What is Carob?

Carob is an edible tropical bean or pod that grows on carob trees in the Mediterranean region where people have been enjoying it for thousands of years.

Carob tastes really good and it looks a lot like chocolate. But in the end, it's NOT chocolate. I don't recommend trying to pass carob off as chocolate. You can't fool a true chocolate lover! They'll know right away that you've made a switch. That could make for a very awkward situation

Carob vs Chocolate: The Good

~ Carob ~

-Carob has it's own natural sugars similar to what you find in honey and fruits.
-Unlike chocolate, you don't have to add a lot of sweetener to make it taste good.
-It's an alkaline food
-Contains 3 times as much calcium as chocolate.
-High in fiber and protein
-Full of antioxidants and polyphenols
-Low in fat (contains about 1% fat compared to 24% fat in cocoa)
-High in vitamins and minerals (contains iron, vitamin B, phosphorus, and magnesium)
-Doesn't contain any harmful stimulants such as caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline
-Not addictive
-Safe enough for dogs to eat unlike chocolate which can seriously injure or kill them

~ Chocolate ~

-Dark chocolate is high in flavanoids (antioxidants) which may help to lower blood pressure
-Some of the fats in chocolate may help to lower cholesterol levels
-Eating chocolate causes your body to produce endorphins which make you feel good
-Chocolate also contains serotonin which acts like an antidepressant

Carob vs Chocolate: The Bad

~ Carob ~
-Carob doesn't taste like chocolate. But that's not really a problem if you're willing to accept the fact that carob has its own unique and delicious flavor.
-Some brands of mainstream carob chips and candy may contain animal ingredients. Again, not a real problem if you're into reading labels to make sure you're getting a vegan product. Or, you can buy carob powder and make your own carob candy at home.

~ Chocolate ~

-A lot of the antioxidants in chocolate are destroyed during traditional methods of roasting and fermenting the cocoa.
-Chocolate is high in calories and fat (contains about 24% fat)
-One of the fats in chocolate is palmitic acid, a saturated fat. It can raise your cholesterol levels and your risk for heart disease.
-To get chocolate bars smooth and creamy even more oil is usually added
-Chocolate is very bitter on its own. So, manufacturers add other ingredients such as milk, corn syrup, sugar, and artificial flavors to improve the taste.
-Chocolate contains caffeine which is an addictive drug. It stimulates your heart and raises your blood pressure. It can also cause damage to your DNA.
-Contains theobromine which is an alkaloid drug and a stimulant like caffeine. Theobromine may cause acne for some people.
-Contains oxalic acid which binds with calcium in your digestive system and prevents you from being able to use the calcium. It also robs your body of stored calcium and causes you to lose it in your urine.
-Also contains tyramine which is a trace amine that comes from the amino acid tyrosine. It can cause you to have headaches.
-Chocolate makes your body acid rather than alkaline

Here are some of the nutrients you'll find in carob:

Vitamin A
Vitamin B (e.g, B1, B2, B3, B6)
Vitamin D

Carob is also great because it is:

An alkaline food
Low in fat (contains less fat than cocoa)
Good for your gums, teeth, and bones
Able to help lower cholesterol levels
Free from harmful stimulants such as theobromine or caffeine
Info from Natural Health Restored

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