Can cocoa lose weight?

As the summer solstice approaches, the temperature gradually rises. Many people want to lose weight as soon as possible in the “meat” season, and the topic of fitness has become quite hot online recently.

Some bloggers’ homemade “weight loss drinks” have become popular on many Chinese social platforms. “Two spoons of raw cocoa powder + half a bottle of oolong tea + milk, this bottle of homemade low-calorie milk tea praised” “Raw cocoa powder + Oolong tea, let me lose several pounds in a month, but also very convenient”… The number of clicks and likes of such content is quite high.

It is not difficult to find that cocoa powder occupies the “C position” of these diet drink formulas. So, what is cocoa powder? Does it really have weight loss benefits? The reporter interviewed relevant experts with these questions.

Cocoa powder is the product of processed cocoa beans

“Cocoa powder is what’s left after the cocoa butter is extracted from the cocoa liquid.” Kexin food and health information exchange Center science and technology communication Department director Ruan Guangfeng said.

The reporter learned that cocoa powder is the product of cocoa bean processing. People take the cocoa beans from the fruit of the cocoa tree, the cocoa beans are cleaned, screened, roasted, shelled, and then through post-processing to obtain cocoa liquid. Cocoa liquid is an important ingredient in the production of chocolate.

After further pressing, the oil is separated from the cocoa liquid, forming two raw materials: one is the raw material of chocolate, cocoa butter, which is a natural cooking oil with a faint chocolate flavor; The other is the residue of the cocoa liquid after degreasing – cocoa powder, which is known as cocoa powder after being crushed.

Figuratively speaking, cocoa powder is like the soybean meal obtained after the crushing process of soybeans. “It is used in food processing simply because it has the distinctive aroma of cocoa.” Mr. Nguyen explained.

In the national standard full text disclosure system, the recommended national standards queried by the reporter show that cocoa powder can be divided into natural cocoa powder and alkalized cocoa powder according to the alkalization process.

Natural cocoa powder is brown-yellow or light brown, more difficult to dissolve in liquid, and taste bitter, generally not directly used in the production of liquid products. The alkalized cocoa powder is brown-red or brown-black, which is obtained after the addition of edible alkali during the processing of cocoa beans, tastes slightly better than natural cocoa powder, and can be dissolved in water.

There is no direct weight loss effect of any food

On social platforms, many people recommend cocoa powder because it “can lose weight.” So, does eating cocoa really have this magic effect?

“The key to weight loss is your energy budget.” Ruan Guangfeng said that reasonable control of intake and consumption of calories, so that the daily consumption of calories greater than the intake of calories, in order to achieve weight loss.

Reporters on an online shopping platform to “cocoa powder” as a keyword search, and randomly open a product interface, found that the nutrition table indicated that the brand of cocoa powder per 100 grams of calories 1623 kilojoules (about 387 kcal), accounting for about 19% of the daily needs of the human body; Running at a moderate speed for an hour burns about 250 kcal; The recognized “weight loss food” – broccoli, contains about 36 kcal per 100 grams. Cocoa powder is not low in calories, but why do many people still say it has a good weight loss effect?

Liang Tingting, a dietitian in charge of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, said in an interview that if cocoa powder is used as a meal replacement (that is, do not eat other foods) to eat, for some people, it may indeed have a weight loss effect, but this effect is not necessarily brought by cocoa powder. If people do not eat in the short term, the intake of calories will be reduced, even if they do not eat cocoa powder, they can achieve the purpose of weight loss.

“Eating cocoa powder is actually not a direct weight loss, any food has no direct weight loss effect.” Mr. Ruan concluded.

The reporter also observed that some people claim that cocoa powder is “rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals, and has an appetite suppressive effect.” But is it really the case?

“It is true that cocoa is rich in antioxidants, but the claim that it is’ rich in minerals, vitamins and can suppress appetite ‘has not been verified by the authorities.” Mr Ruan said.

Liang said that suppressing appetite may not be the effect of cocoa powder. In the case of insufficient energy intake, the human body’s appetite will be suppressed in the short term. In addition, the stronger satiety brought by cocoa powder will also make people eat less to a certain extent. She said that if the cocoa powder is used as meal replacement powder in the short term, it can indeed achieve certain weight loss purposes, but if it is eaten in the long term, it is not good for health.

So, how to eat the right, eat good cocoa powder?

First of all, cocoa powder cannot be used exclusively as a meal replacement. In the production of meal replacement, pay attention to the balance of nutrition. The human body needs to take in several major types of nutrients every day to include, coarse and fine grains to match, and according to the different amount of exercise, but also to take in a certain amount of carbohydrates; Unsaturated fatty acids, high-quality protein, fresh vegetables and fruits should also be guaranteed. If cocoa powder is consumed alone, the body may lack nutrients such as protein and unsaturated fatty acids. Secondly, for people who want to lose weight, because cocoa powder contains a lot of dietary fiber, it is suitable to eat half an hour before meals to enhance the sense of fullness. However, it is also important to note that cocoa powder is high in calories, so do not eat too much at once.