Intermittent fasting is a strict eating routine that makes many first-timers wonder: is hot chocolate OK with intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or intermittent energy restriction is voluntary fasting that is carried out by an individual over a period of time. With this type of fasting, you are only allowed to eat during a specific time after fasting for a certain number of hours during the day.
You can enjoy hot chocolate during intermittent fasting, especially dark chocolate, because of its anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular-friendly properties. Hot chocolate may also trigger insulin release, is a great energy source, and is packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals the body needs.
But, even too much of a good thing can be bad for you, which is why it’s important to learn about the relationship between intermittent fasting and hot chocolate.
As someone who practices intermittent fasting regularly, we can help guide you on the best way to include hot chocolate in your diet during intermittent fasting.
Hot Chocolate and Intermittent Fasting
If you're new to intermittent fasting (IF), spending 16 hours without eating could make you feel like a wet noodle – at least at first. However, after the body adjusts to the IF program, the sense of having more energy, as well as other advantages, is likely to rise.
According to Robert Murray, MD, Professor of Human Nutrition at The Ohio State University's College of Education and Human Ecology, possible advantages of an IF program might include decreased inflammation, improved blood lipid profiles, the capacity to avoid weight return, and modest weight reduction. The mechanism is unknown, although fasting appears to reduce inflammation, probably via the gastrointestinal tract.
Fasting may allow the body to "clean up" damaged cells, ensuring that they do not remain in the body and cause illnesses like cancer or dementia. It's critical to fill up with nutrient-dense, gut-healthy meals throughout the limited eating hours of any IF program.
You can eat 500-600 calories on a 5:2 fasting day, depending on your gender. As long as you keep under your daily calorie restriction, cacao is acceptable. On fast days, some people will not assign calories to beverages because they wish to utilize them entirely for meals. Many people appear to benefit from hot beverages when they are hungry. It's alright, as long as you keep track of the calories. On fast days, we frequently drink a cocoa mix with 60 calories per serving.
Intermittent fasting entails more than simply not eating for a specified period of time. It's not about calorie counting; it's about giving your body a vacation from eating so it can focus on cleaning rather than digestion. Proteins and other components in your body are continually becoming faulty or dying. This isn't a negative thing; it's a vital part of maintaining good health.
Autophagy is a process that occurs in the body. Autophagy is a cellular cleaning process in which the body labels damaged cell components and unused proteins as potentially hazardous. The injured components of your body are cleansed out after your body receives this message.
According to the WEHI, if autophagy is not activated, dead or malfunctioning cells can collect in the body, resulting in illnesses such as lupus, type 1 diabetes, and cancer. According to the Obesity study, fasting can start the detoxification process, which is also beneficial.
While there are many different fasting patterns to choose from, all of them include eating during specified times of the day and then refraining from food the rest of the time. The popular 16:8 diet, for example, consists of an eight-hour eating session followed by a 16-hour fast.
Chocolate milk has high-calorie content. Chocolate milk has 208 calories and 24 grams of sugar per cup (of which 11.5 g is additive sugars). It's important to note that a person's daily intake should be between 25 and 36 grams. Furthermore, the rich cream in chocolate milk might interfere with the fat-burning process, affecting your fasting condition.
Chocolate and Cardiovascular Properties
According to the American Heart Association, cocoa has a wide range of cardiovascular benefits that lessen the risk of heart attack and stroke overall. These same antioxidants help to keep your heart healthy. The flavanols in cocoa have been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease, lowering LDL cholesterol, boosting blood flow, and reducing blood clotting, according to the European Food Information Council (EUFIC).
Apart from that, cocoa also contains many antioxidants that are good for the body, especially during intermittent fasting. Flavonoids, which are antioxidants found in cocoa, are abundant. Cocoa has twice as many antioxidants as a glass of red wine and three times as much as green tea, according to Cornell University researchers.
Flavonoids have been linked to a variety of health advantages, including lowering inflammation and strengthening immune systems. These antioxidants have been linked to a longer life, weight loss, cancer prevention, and other benefits.
Dark chocolate makes a difference. When it comes to bars, the higher the cacao content, the better. Antioxidants are also greater in less processed cocoa powders, suggesting that, while tasty, Dutch-processed cocoa powder is not the healthiest option.
Consumption of hot chocolate has been shown to improve cognitive performance. Hot chocolate includes a substance that may aid in increasing brain activity in the dentate gyrus. The increase in activity in that area of the brain has a significant effect on cognitive performance. You'll need it first thing in the morning to be productive for the rest of the day. As a result, there are health benefits to consuming chocolate first thing in the morning.
It not only tastes great, but it also has a favorable effect on your brain. It causes the release of neurotransmitters that make you feel relaxed and cheerful, as well as reduces pain and tension. Chocolate helps you feel good because it includes energy-boosting caffeine, which is exactly what you need while intermittent fasting.
Make your own hot cocoa using unsweetened cocoa powder or 85 percent dark chocolate for the healthiest version. Choose plant-based milk for a lower-fat variation. Natural sweeteners like honey and pure maple syrup can be used to sweeten to taste, but don't go crazy.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore