There are key differences between the three main types of chocolate - white, milk and dark. Milk is perhaps the most popular variety used in everything from truffles to chocolate dipped fruit.
While most people know that each has its own distinct flavor, there are also different health benefits. For instance, dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, but white might be more desired for coating sweet strawberries. Knowing the differences can help you reap the benefits of each choice.
What Goes Into Milk Chocolate
Milk chocolate has a balanced flavor that allows it to be sweet without packing too much of a punch. AllChocolate.com reports that this delicacy is a combination of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar and cream or milk. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that chocolate must be at least 12 percent dairy and 10 percent liquor in order to be categorized as milk chocolate.
White Chocolate and Its Lack of Cocoa Solids
Ever wonder how white chocolate got its name? Well, the reason may be primarily because it contains no cocoa, according to FitDay.com. White chocolate is made strictly from cocoa butter, milk and sugar, and it does not contain any nonfat cocoa solids.
The FDA states that chocolate must be 20 percent cocoa butter and 14 percent dairy in order to be categorized as white. This type is delectable in beverages and desserts because of its elegant, sweet taste.
Dark Chocolate Reigns Supreme for Your Health
Dark chocolate is by far the healthiest of the three most popular types. Because it has a high cocoa content, it has many of the benefits associated with cacao - large amounts of flavonoids and antioxidants. These nutrients may be able to help enhance the immune system over time.
FitDay.com reports that dark chocolate can be especially beneficial for your heart. Eating a small portion of it two to three times a week may be able to lower your blood pressure and potentially prevent hardening of the arteries. This treat may also reduce the risk of a stroke, improve blood flow to your main organs and repair cell damage. While it can be eaten alone, dark chocolate generally tastes best when complemented with drinks to balance out its bitterness, such as coffee or wine.