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If your dog eats Chocolate….What will happen?

Who among you chocolate lovers enthusiast owns a Dog?

While the pathetic begging look that goes across the face of a dog wanting chocolate can weaken the most stoic dog owner, stay firm. Do not give in. Ever.

Once dogs have tasted chocolate, they want more.

And for dogs, that’s a bad thing.

You might disagree, thinking back to a time when you noticed a dog enjoying a tidbit of chocolate with no deleterious effect.

Don’t be fooled.

The problem, according to veterinary experts, is that eating a speck of chocolate leads a dog to crave more. It can mean that your dog will jump at a opportunity to get any type of chocolate, not knowing that certain chocolates are more lethal than other types. Larger amounts of chocolate, particularly of the most toxic type, can bring about epileptic seizures in some dogs, and in all dogs, can kill.

Poisoning of dogs by chocolate is not as uncommon as you might think.

“Chocolate ingestion are one common reason why pet owners and veterinarians call us,” said Dana Farbman, Certified Veterinary Technician and Manager, Client and Professional Relations, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. “However, it would be difficult to verify an exact ranking in frequency of calls, as the types of substances we receive calls on can vary greatly depending on many factors, including the time of year. We generally do experience somewhat of a rise in chocolate calls around holidays, such as Halloween, Easter, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.

Why is Chocolate Lethal?

Chocolate contains theobromine. A naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean, theobromine increases urination and affects the central nervous system as well as heart muscle. While amounts vary by type of chocolate, it’s the theobromine that is poisonous to dogs.

Symptoms of Chocolate Dog Ingestion and Poisoning

You can recognize that your dog has eaten a toxic dose of chocolate from the symptoms. Within the first few hours, the evidence includes vomiting, diarrhea or hyperactivity. As time passes and there’s increased absorption of the toxic substance, you’ll see an increase in the dog’s heart rate, which can cause arrhythmia, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination or excessive panting.

This can lead to hyperthermia, muscle tremors, seizures, coma and even death.

How Much Chocolate Is Deadly?

If a 50-pound dog eats a teaspoonful of milk chocolate, it’s not going to cause serious problems. However, if that same dog gorges himself on a two-layer chocolate cake, his stomach will feel more than upset and soon it’s likely he’ll be vomiting or experiencing diarrhea.

To answer the question “How much is too much” is not simple. The health and age of your dog must be considered. Obviously if your dog is aged and not in top shape, his reaction to a plate of chocolate is going to be different from a young healthy dog of the same weight.

Another fact that must be considered is this: Not all chocolate is the same. Some has a small amount of theobromine; another type has a large amount and still another contains an amount that is somewhere in between. The quantity has a relationship with the weight of your dog. Small dogs can be poisoned, it is easy to understand, from smaller amounts of theobromine than large dogs.

Which chocolate is the safest, relatively speaking? White chocolate. It has the least amount of theobromine: 1 mg per ounce. Far on the other side of the spectrum is baking chocolate, which has a huge 450 mg of theobromine per ounce!

Here are a few other chocolates for you to ponder: hot chocolate, 12 mg of theobromine per ounce; milk chocolate, 60 mg/oz; and up there near baking chocolate: semi-sweet chocolate with 260 mg/oz.

You might try using this to remember these chocolates from least to most toxic: What Happy Moose Says BAA? Or: White-Hot-Milk-Semi-Baked. If you have a better way to remember, contact us!

Knowing which chocolate is the most toxic is important, but leaves one wondering how much must be eaten to poison a dog. The list below can be helpful. Maybe you can clip it and post it on your refrigerator?

  • White chocolate: 200 ounces per pound of body weight. It takes 250 pounds of white chocolate to cause signs of poisoning in a 20-pound dog, 125 pounds for a 10-pound dog.
  • Milk chocolate: 1 ounce per pound of body weight. Approximately one pound of milk chocolate is poisonous to a 20-pound dog; one-half pound for a 10-pound dog. The average chocolate bar contains 2 to 3 ounces of milk chocolate. It would take 2-3 candy bars to poison a 10 pound dog. Semi-sweet chocolate has a similar toxic level.
  • Sweet cocoa: 0.3 ounces per pound of body weight. One-third of a pound of sweet cocoa is toxic to a 20-pound dog; 1/6 pound for a 10-pound dog.
  • Baking chocolate: 0.1 ounce per pound body weight. Two one-ounce squares of bakers’ chocolate is toxic to a 20-pound dog; one ounce for a 10-pound dog.

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Posted in Chocolate 101, Chocolate Facts, Chocolate Information, Featured Articles3 Comments

chocolate-facial

Chocolate Face Mask improves skin Hydration – Beauty tips!

chocolate-facialOn my way home, I was walking on the side of the road when some girls approached me and insist to hand me some flyers for their new spa treatment center that was established near my place. While enjoying my luscious Cadbury chocolate milk and listening music from my iPad at the same time, I was astonished with what I saw on their flyers that says they offer Chocolate Face Mask!

True, that I’m a sucker for Chocolates whether it’s dark chocolate or milk chocolate you name it! Everything Chocolate! But this…Chocolate Face Mask? Seriously? Well there’s only one way to find out! Google!!

Chocolates are not only delicious but also healthy right? We learned that from our past articles. But it is also good for skin! This fact caught my attention, how Chocolates can be use as a beauty product? I mean specifically..Face Mask?

Chocolate help improves Face and Skin Hydration

In the past few years Chocolates was once believed that when consumed it cause breakouts. But  studies now show that dark chocolates variety is actually good for our skin. A test was done by experts to women and gave them flavonoid powder (from dark chocolate) dissolved in water then let them go outside for an hour. After few more test, researchers found out that these flavonoids can absorb UV light, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin and improves skin’s hydration and complexion. (According to Journal of Nutrition)

Dr. Jessica Wu M.D a Los Angeles-based Dermatologist and author of Feed Your Face states that using chocolate face mask can help keep skin clear and hydrated “Since prepackaged face masks may contain salt or sugar particles with jagged edges that can scratch your skin, I recommend making your own chocolate face mask at home,”says Wu “They’re cheap to make and all natural so if you accidentally lick your lips, you know it’s safe enough to eat.”

Making your own Chocolate Face Mask is easy all you need is :

  • 2 bars of dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoon of yogurt (to unclog pores)
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt

 

Procedure

  • Heat dark chocolate bars for 3 minutes in a boiler
  • In a separate bowl mix yogurt and sea salt and when the chocolate has already melted add then mix it well.

And there you have it! Your very own Chocolate Face Mask! Apply fingertips to clean, make sure to wear old t-shirt cause it can get messy, sit for 10 to 15 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water. Then see the difference! ^^ I’m already applying it myself while writing this article!

Hahahahaha….

 

 

Posted in Chocolate 101, Chocolate Facts, Featured Articles, Health Tips and Beauty Care1 Comment

Stack of Chocolate

The Phases Through Which Cocoa Bean Passes to Become Chocolate

Stack of ChocolateChocolate is a product that today is appreciated by people of all ages. The ingredients used for making chocolate are crucial for the final quality and type of the product obtained, but the production techniques can matter as well. The first step can be to choose the type of cocoa bean. Then, other steps lead to the molding phase. All these chocolate production phases are important for the final result, which is obtaining a high quality chocolate that has an intense taste and a pleasant flavor.

Choosing the Cocoa Bean and the Processing Phase

For obtaining a top quality chocolate, you should choose cocoa bean that is cultivated in West Africa and South America. After bean selection, the next step is harvesting. The bean is taken out from its pods and fermented. Drying and roasting the bean are the next important phases. By eliminating the shells, cocoa can be revealed. The chocolate liquor is made from the cocoa nibs. Through crushing, the nibs liquefy. Cocoa butter and solids are part of the liquid, but they can be separated through pressing. The alternatives to pressing can be molding and hardening, through which unsweetened chocolate is made.

The Production Phase of Various Chocolate Types

For obtaining the fine chocolate that people usually consume and that has become so popular today, the following ingredients are mixed: cocoa butter, cocoa solids, vanilla and different other flavors, according to each recipe. Milk must be used too, in case a milk chocolate is made. In dark chocolate, vanilla and sugar are usually added. In order to obtain white chocolate, the solids and the liquor are eliminated. Ingredients like cocoa butter, milk and its derivatives and sugar are used. For more customization, there is a multitude of additives, flavor and emulsifiers to use, but the company that manufactured the chocolate decides what is added.

The Refining Process and the Final Adjustments

After all the ingredients have been used and all the necessary processing has been performed, the final texture must be obtained. This texture is what you see when you buy the product, which means it must be creamy and smooth. But, for obtaining the texture, a couching process follows. This is the refining process and the more refining the chocolate gets, the finer its texture will be. The final adjustments are made through a procedure called tempering, which consists of heating the chocolate and cooling it. The formation of cocoa butter crystals is managed through different ways of cooling and heating. Tempering determines the pliability and firmness of the chocolate.

The Final Product and Packaging

The final product will have a fine and glossy sheen if every process has been respected, especially the tempering. In the last stage, a moldable chocolate is obtained that can be modeled in the way that is desired. The best examples of forms obtained can be: chunks, bars, blocks, or chips. Once the product is finished, it is packaged properly, according to standards in the field. Then, the chocolate is shipped anywhere around the world, in different forms, as gifts, or just as treats for consumers.

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Women and Chocolates!

Heard this kind of conversation between couples?

Wife: Do you still love me?

Husband: Yes. Of course!

Wife: You never give me flowers and chocolates anymore and you don’t take me out on a date!! hmmmp!!

Husband: tsk! Women….(sigh)

I don’t know about you guys but I’ve heard this type of conversation many times before. It seems that women craves for chocolate more than men. Why do I think that way? Because in my 25 years of existence, I have never met any guy who craves for chocolate like women does or being more specific craves like I do. I mean I know some guys who “likes and eat chocolates” but guy who “craves” for chocolates? I think it’s a very rare sight. If you know one, guess you’re fortunate.

So I have been wondering “again” (hehehe) why do women crave for chocolate more than men? I found some interesting answers on the web and you might want to read this for your own reference.

It is because of this reasons:

Serotonin Levels

Women specially during menstrual period experienced this kind of cravings. Surveys found out that 7 out of 10 women during or before their menstrual cycle craves for dark chocolates, specially melted dark chocolates.Experts believed that when women, 7 to 10 days prior to their menstrual periods experienced lower Serotonin levels, that’s where their craving becomes powerful because at those times eating chocolate increases Serotonin levels on your brain. Serotonin was defined as the neurotransmitter that is accountable for mood transition.

Blood Sugar Levels

Another reason why women craves for chocolate is because of their low blood sugar levels,if their blood sugar levels has fallen, eating chocolate provides them a hit of sugar that they need for quick energy. Dark chocolate can stabilized blood sugar levels because it is low on glycemic index.  So if you’re moody and irritable, stressed or tired most specially between meals and you have chocolate cravings, it must be due to your low blood sugar levels.

Menstrual Cycle

Some researchers believes that women’s craving for chocolates during or prior their menstrual cycle is a cultural phenomenon. For example American women craves for chocolate more than women from other countries or nationalities. Why? They’re concerned about high levels of sugar and fat in chocolate so they consider it an indulgence.

Although some experts believes that this cravings and phenomenons are all due to psychological effect of premenstrual symptoms. You know so they can have valid reasons to eat more chocolates.

There are still issues regarding this “psychological theory” since some experts don’t accept that.

But for me well, I couldn’t say that this chocolate cravings are phenomenal only in US because here where I live I know a lot women who loves chocolate so much and they’re not Americans. I also experience chocolate cravings prior and during my cycle and it made me feel energize because I usually felt weak and no-energy at all to do anything so whether it’s because of low blood sugar levels or low serotonin levels or it’s just some psycho theory…we got to admit that Chocolate is just plain good!! ^_^ ain’t that right?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Chocolate 101, Chocolate Facts, Chocolate Indulgence, Featured Articles4 Comments

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Chocolate – a Gift from God.

Hello again everyone!

While I was on a trip to a local province few miles from my hometown I had the time to think about my next article. One that pops to my mind is I was actually wondering why I really love Chocolates specially bitter-sweet dark chocolates. Now I’m fortunate enough to found some answers through my personal preferences and a little web research which I’m very excited to share with you guys.

First of all I believed that God wants us to enjoy his creations and manage to gives us great things such as Life itself and Nature. What does it mean?

Well think about this :  Imagine life without music? colors? variety of foods and flavor that we can enjoy? or last but not the least human socialization? Or Imagine all the food has the same texture, color and flavor? We can still survive without these things for sure but wouldn’t life be that boring or unsatisfiable? or worst lifeless?

Instead of doing that, God created everything that is “good-to-the-eye” that we can have so many different types of food.

Cocoa is one of them.

When humans discovered these fruit and develop different types of recipes out of it like chocolates, I’m sure you all agree that it was one of the greatest discovery that has ever made. Plus when it was discovered that it has a lot of health benefits, people couldn’t get enough of it.

Unfortunately when it is not used or consumed properly of course it may have some disadvantages. For some, Chocolates can be addictive, that is why we have what we called CHOCOHOLICS. Some identifies it as an aphrodisiac. From others personal experience it is a source of obesity. Others believe that it can be a stimulant. Expert believed that it can help our cardiovascular system and may even prevent cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. And For us ordinary people it is one of the simple pleasures of life, it is our other way to deal with stress.

Whatever reasons we have, it is certain that God wants us to have it and enjoy. I mean, he will never create things that might harm us. It’s up to people how they would want to deal with it. But only with the proper guidance and discipline we can experience great pleasure from his creations.

I personally view Chocolates as a gift from God and I thank him more than ever for always looking after us. ^_^ Happy weekend everyone!!

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Drinking Chocolate – Not Your Average Powdered Cocoa

Drinking chocolate is one of the most enjoyable but least thought about drinks in the world. Whenever people are feeling cold, happy, down, or just seeking to have something enjoyable they turn to this wonderful drink. However, what most people are unaware of is that drinking chocolate is not your average powdered cocoa. There is more to this drink than meets the eye.

The use of cocoa beans started out in the Mayan and Aztec cultures. This was achieved in the form of a spicy but bitter beverage that was consumed in these cultures. When the Spanish explorers came to these parts, they exported this back to their homeland. In Spain, drinking chocolate was sweetened. The Spanish sweetened version of drinking chocolate proved to be a massive hit as it spread like wildfire across Europe.

Drinking chocolate has undergone a number of changes over the years. In its original form, the beans were fermented and then roasted. They would then be ground and used to brew the drink. It was into this drink that spices would be added to give the drink its unique flavor.

Nowadays, there is powdered cocoa, sometimes with powdered milk and sugar mix that can be bought in stores. Packaged in small sachets or tins, there may be even dehydrated marshmallows added as these have become a popular addition to the drink. For those with more discriminating taste, there are gourmet brands which promise a creamy and exquisite cup of cocoa.

It may come as a surprise to many that this may not be the only way to enjoy chocolate as a drink. It is possible to melt down solid blocks of chocolate to get a cup of drinking chocolate. This is a unique and interesting variation on one of the most loved drinks of all time.

Smooth solid chocolate pieces are mixed in with whole milk and melted down. Water and sugar are added in to taste and you get a hot beverage that is rich in chocolate. This chocolaty drink can be customized to suit any taste through the addition of unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, or any of a number of flavored syrups on the market.

Remember when adding the water and milk that they are used to tone down the intense nature of pure chocolate taste. It is therefore advisable to use them in a controlled and careful manner to ensure that the end result suits your palette best.

The creative process with this drinking chocolate does not need to end there. You can give it a unique twist by adding orange peel garnish or spices as the Aztecs did. If you are interested in giving it a special kick, you can add in different liqueurs to give it that special zest.

It is important to note that there is no need for a special type of chocolate bar to be used in the process. It is possible to melt down any of your favorite bars of chocolate to make it into drinking chocolate. This presents a unique world of possibility where you can try different bars until you find the one that suits your palate best

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What’s the Significance of Giving Chocolate on Valentine’s Day?

valentine's day chocolate

Giving gifts to your significant other on Valentine’s Day is a widely practiced custom, but why is the act of giving chocolate so popular?  Is it the unique melt-in-your-mouth taste?  Or perhaps the use as a possible erotic stimulant?  Whatever the reason for giving, chocolate consistently dominates the Valentine’s Day tradition year after year.

History of Chocolate as an Aphrodisiac

Chocolate has been considered a potent aphrodisiac by many for a long time.  Mayan emperors would drink chocolate as a way to satisfy the appetites within their harems while French courtesans would feed it to their lovers to encourage stamina and arousal.  As a ritualistic component to Mayan marriage ceremonies, the couples would feed each other chocolate in anticipation of their wedding night.

Pleasure Stimulating Chemicals to Give Love a Chance

The naturally occurring chemicals in chocolate may be exactly the thing to put your Valentine in the mood for love.  The theobromine and caffeine found in chocolate can increase your heartbeat and act as a stimulant.  Phenylehtylamine can simulate the effects of love while serotonin can elicit a sense of well-being.  The idea of giving the object of your desire such a potentially mood altering potion would makes chocolate seem like the only Valentine’s Day choice!

Nutritional Properties for a Healthy Heart

Pure dark chocolate is rich with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  The effects the antioxidants can have on your heart include increased blood circulation, reduced cholesterol levels, and lowered risks of stroke and heart attack.  The magnesium, iron, and vitamin B found in chocolate can also help in preventing illness.  Whether this is a conscious reason lovers give chocolate as a gift or not, it’s certainly a thoughtful way to show you care.  Of course, to enjoy the nutritional benefits of chocolate, it should be consumed only in proper moderation.

Chocolate on the Valentine’s Day Market

For most of the year it’s women who tend to buy chocolate on a regular basis, however when Valentine’s Day rolls around the percentage of men purchasing chocolate jumps to around 75%.  Anyone who does any shopping during the Valentine’s Day season can’t help but notice the overwhelming varieties of chocolate available at that time.  Candy sales go up when love is in the air, so be it the encouragement of lustful desires or just the gesture of giving your sweet something sweet, chocolate at Valentine’s Day is a tradition that has yet to fail love-struck shoppers everywhere.

Posted in Chocolate 101, Featured Articles3 Comments

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