What are the health benefits of carob over chocolate?
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine
Although carob powder is somewhat bland compared to chocolate, carob improves upon chocolate in a number of beneficial ways:
  • Carob is stimulant-free and requires no additional sweetening, while cocoa contains the potent caffeine-like stimulant, theobromine, and requires the addition of a sweetener -- one reason why carob has only one third the calories of chocolate.
  • Another is that carob is virtually fat-free (100 g -- a bit more than 3-oz -- contain less than a gram of fat). In contrast, even low-fat cocoa contains 8 g of fat per 100 g, and high-fat cocoa delivers a whopping 23.7 g of fat, much of it saturated, in 100 g.
  • Both carob and low-fat cocoa powders are low in sodium and high in potassium-a desirable quality for individuals with high blood pressure or congestive heart failure, whereas cocoas with moderate to high fat content are often quite high in sodium since they are typically processed with an alkali to enable them to dissolve in water.
  • Both carob and cocoa contain calcium, but carob provides twice the amount of calcium found in cocoa (290 mg in 100 g of carob versus 123 to 153 mg in 100 g of cocoa). Plus, unlike cocoa, carob contains no oxalic acid, which interferes with calcium absorption.
  • Carob pods are also free of phenylethylamines, small nitrogen-containing molecules found in chocolate that, in susceptible individuals, can trigger migraines.
  • Also unlike cocoa, carob powder is high in protein and rich in fiber, particularly pectin.
Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

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Encyclopedia of Healing Foods

From the bestselling authors of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the most comprehensive and practical guide available to the nutritional benefits and medicinal properties of virtually everything...

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Health Value Of Foods

Health Value Of Foods

A healthy diet is rich in foods with high nutritional value, providing your body with the vitamins, minerals and other food nutrients it needs to protect against disease and maintain a healthy weight. To identify healthy foods, it...

's important to read nutrition labels and know the source of your food. Products advertised as whole-grain, organic or fortified may not necessarily be healthy for you. Find out how to get the most health value from various fruits, nuts, spices, oils and vegetables -- and learn which types of red meat and processed foods to avoid -- with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.