The Difference between Milk Chocolate Dark Chocolate and Semi Sweet Chocolate

All kinds of chocolate gets its wonderful flavor from the cocoa bean, but most chocolates are also mixed with other ingredients. As much as 90 percent of chocolate comes from ingredients that aren’t cocoa liquor! The difference between milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate comes from how much cocoa bean goes into the chocolate when you compare it to other ingredients.

Milk chocolate

Cocoa beans are naturally bitter, so mixing it with other ingredients usually makes it milder and sweeter than straight cocoa beans. That’s why milk chocolate’s so popular in chocolate bars.

Milk chocolate’s got the most ingredients of any real kind of chocolate. Milk gives it its name, in the form of milk powder, condensed milk, or even regular liquid milk! At least 12 percent of milk chocolate has to be made from milk.

Other common ingredients in milk chocolate are sugar and cocoa butter.

By law, milk chocolate has to have at least 10 percent cocoa liquor. If you’re in Europe, that jumps to 25 percent, unless you’re in Britain, when it’s only 20 percent. So as long as it’s between 10 and 25 percent and contains milk, it’s called milk chocolate somewhere.

The Hershey method of making milk chocolate’s really popular in Canada and the States, but how they do it is a trade secret. Hershey chocolate isn’t nearly as sweet as other kinds of milk chocolate. There’s even a distinct sour aftertaste!

Dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate

There’s a lot of overlap between dark chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate. It doesn’t help at all that there’s not a really precise definition for what is dark chocolate and what is semi-sweet chocolate. The amount of cocoa in these chocolates goes all the way from 18% to 99%! So you’ve really got to look at the package label closely before you buy.

The law doesn’t really distinguish between semi-sweet and dark chocolate at all. You’ve got to have at least 18 percent cocoa liquor to use either name in Canada. In Europe and the United States, it’s more like 35 percent minimum cocoa liquor to be called chocolate and not some kind of chocolate mix.

You’ll sometimes see bittersweet chocolate, or extra dark chocolate. They’re pretty much the same thing. In general, they’ll usually have more cocoa liquor than regular dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate.

Your basic taste rule of thumb is that higher percentages of cocoa beans taste more bitter. That’s why semi-sweet chocolates are used most often for cooking. They usually have higher amounts of cocoa liquor than what’s called dark chocolate, which is mostly used for eating straight.

But you can really use either one when you’re cooking. Just be careful with the amounts you use. You’ll need less chocolate when it’s got a higher percentage of cocoa liquor, and you’ll probably want to add more sugar.

Tonsil stones questions and answers

Q: As a child I had repeated tonsillitis and as an adult I get it intermittently and as recently as last December although I’m now 43! It occurred after 2 severe bouts of sinus infections which lead to tracheitis, chest infection and the tonsillitis. As a result of repeated tonsillitis my tonsils are permanently enlarged but about 3 years ago these tonsil stones started appearing. At 1st I thought they were tonsillitis about to flare but there was no pain or redness just the feeling of something stuck on the back of my throat like a large breadcrumb and the white spots were visible.

Anyway I manually removed the tonsil stones once I found out what they were as I couldn’t bear the thoughts of accidentally swallowing them (I’m sure I’ve probably swallowed heaps but it’s the thoughts of it). I can’t say I’d recommend my methods as it’s probably not the safest but works for me. The cotton buds etc didn’t work but what did was a very narrow fabric coated flexible hairband and one day in an emergency the arm of a pair of sunglasses. I push at the most accessible side of the stone (where I’m least likely to gag and where I can scoop the stone when it pops) and usually it pops out quickly with no pain and no after effects (again I stress this works for me but wouldn’t recommend). They only appear in one tonsil and that tonsil is now significantly smaller than the other where it would have been the larger of the 2.

I suffer from chronic sinusitis and have constant post nasal drip. I’ve tried excluding dairy and wheat and where it does seem to lessen it doesn’t disappear. During the Summer the pollens cause sinus issues but doesn’t seem to be grass pollen. Several colleagues have the same problem and we all react on similar days whether we are in work or not. Mold is a very definite trigger for me and this time of year is particularly bad with all the leaves falling and rotting. I don’t keep plants in my house as I discovered if any mold grew in the soil I would be reduced to coughing fits.

In regard to the tonsil stones and their formation this is most likely from the above allergies etc. Stress seems to be what pushes them to the surface for me. I had multiple stones appear over several weeks around the time my father died and thereafter very few. Recently they have been appearing again and lo and behold another extremely stressful time in my life with my mother in hospital for the last 3 weeks after major surgery and the death of her sister amongst several other things all at the same time. I had a couple of stones about 2 weeks ago and another this morning and that has confirmed the role stress has to play in them to me.

I am definitely going to try the supplements and I currently already practice yoga and exercise frequently but your article will certainly provide the incentive for me to continue. For more information about how to remove them naturally, visit here for details.

A: I can also recommend you to go and see a traditional Chinese medicine doctor and see what he has to say about your condition. They work on balancing your entire body which would also help for your allergy and sinus infection. I hope you get to the bottom of your problem so that you can relax. Best wishes!

Q: As I’ve read this, it kinda conflict with what my doctors say… they say, it’d be OK to remove the tonsils coz it’d stop my sufferings with my reoccurring tonsils… but now, I’m close into realizing that i shouldn’t let them remove mine coz it is a counterpart of what the functions of our liver are… I’m afraid… am i gonna die or suffer much if this won’t be removed??? I’ve seen the pictures of the tonsil stones… & mine is much bigger, much spread out and i can hardly speak (*feels like something is stuck in my throat)…

A: Yes it does conflict with what many doctors say, and I don’t say that you shouldn’t trust your doctors. You could get a second opinion form a TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) doctor and listen to what he has to say about your condition. I hope you find this helpful. All the best!

Q: Hello! I am so glad I discovered this article too! I have one question…How soon after an allergy or reaction to a food allergy would a tonsil stone appear? I only get them now and again. If I woke up this AM with one is that from something I ate the day before? or something I ate that week?

A: I have no good answer to give you here:). My own experience is about one day. I remember cooking a mushroom dish with lots of cream and fat served on toast bread. The day after I was out running and I suddenly coughed up two large tonsil stones.

So, for me these stones can form rather quickly. You have to be aware and see how fast the stones form for you :)

Here are some details and tips on how to remove tonsil stones at

4 Diet-Friendly Reasons to Indulge in Guinness

The famous slogan of St. Patrick’s Day’s favorite libation, “Guinness is good for you,” might be more than just nostalgic advertising. While the beer company has gone on the record to say it doesn’t support that claim, research shows that drinking beer in moderation can be healthful in that it decreases your risk of kidney stones, heart disease, and certain cancers, while providing your body with essential nutrients. Here are four more reasons that a pint of Guinness is a good for your health, as well as your taste buds:

1.    It won’t destroy your diet.
Despite its rich flavor and reputation for being heavy ale, Guinness has less carbohydrates and calories than most light beers (yes really!). At just 170 calories per pint, it won’t upset your calorie count as much as wine, orange juice, and reduced-fat milk.

2.    You’re less likely to overindulge.
Most Irishmen and beer connoisseurs would agree that Guinness is meant to be savored. Its hearty, thick consistency ensures you’ll most likely sip this brew instead of embark on a beer-chugging contest. You can nurse one or two pints of this libation and still participate in the St. Patrick’s Day merry-making for hours—and be less tempted to go overboard.

3.    It’s chocked full of essential, heart-healthy nutrients.

We’ve long heard about the health benefits of drinking wine, but it turns out that beer contains all the nutrients of wine—and sometimes in higher doses. According to a Dutch study conducted at the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, beer drinkers had 30% higher levels of vitamin B6 in their blood than non-beer drinkers—twice the amount of red-wine drinkers. According to several studies, including one conducted at the Institute of Epidemiology at the University of Muenster, moderate beer drinking reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. The reasons are simple: Alcohol can increase HDL—or “good” cholesterol—levels and reduce the chance of arteries hardening and blood thickening—two main contributors to heart attacks. Guinness especially is known as a hearty and nutrient-rich beer so if you’re inclined to get your vitamins through your adult beverages, Guinness is a great choice.

4.    It can help nursing mothers produce milk.

Guinness has traditionally been used to stimulate breast-milk production in nursing women. It might seem like an old wives’ tale, passed down through generations of Irish mothers, but there is evidence to suggest there is some truth to the tip. A small amount of alcohol increases blood flow, which helps to stimulate production. It also calms stress, which can cause mothers to stop producing milk. In addition, Guinness is rich in iron and vitamin B, essential nutrients for milk production.

Do celebs owe us an explanation for their addictions and breakdowns?

Every celebrity is different when it comes to how much of their personal lives they share with the public. Some avoid paparazzi at all costs and refuse to discuss their children or their relationships. Others talk incessantly about where and how frequently they have sex, or openly trash their exes. When it comes to  getting arrested or heading to rehab, most stars keep quiet.

Several weeks ago rampant rumors spread about Mischa Barton suffering a nervous breakdown. Supposedly this led to her being placed under involuntary psychiatric hold at LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and caused her to miss the premiere event for her new show, “Beautiful People,” and pushed back production. Barton now adamantly denies the breakdown and any substance problems, claiming she had “terrible” wisdom tooth surgery. As for why she was removed from her West Hollywood home July 15 by police, Barton remains vague.

“I went through a tough spot where everything compounded on me, and it was like a perfect storm, like everything was happening to me at once,” says Barton. “I was down in the dumps about everything there for a while…Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom about things and have to get the most stressed out just to feel better again. I got completely stressed out and couldn’t handle everything, and now I feel really in control.” Hmm, that sounds like a breakdown to us. Barton is entitled to her privacy, but she chose to give an excuse that sounds questionable. We’re not sure why.

Kelly Osborne also just came clean about her recent issues. It’s no secret her whole famous family has battled with substance abuse problems. but we never knew how severe Kelly’s addictions were till now. She says that by 2002 she began experimented with drugs, alcohol and specifically subscription pills, at on point taking up to 50 Vicodin a day. “Most people would overdose on 10,” she says. After trying and failing at rehabilitation centers several times, she was placed under psychiatric care are the request of her parents. When she got home, she became a recluse. “I wasn’t prepared for the speed of my downward spiral,” says Osbourne. “Within a month I wasn’t showering or brushing my teeth and my only relationship was with the pizza delivery man. The fact I didn’t die is a miracle.” She is honest yet optimistic about staying sober. “If I think about relapsing again, I want to cry. I’m realistic. For the first time, I’ve learned my biggest lesson: there’s strong chance I will relapse. But because I recognize that, I feel like I’ve got the strength to fight it.”

We admire Osbourne’s strength and her willingness to share her struggle with others whom it may benefit. Do you think celebrities should share their personal battles? Do you think stars should lie about various incidents at the risk of lying, or would it be better for them to keep their private life private?

Losing Weight- Tips and Tricks

It is not easy to lose some weight especially if you are aspiring to do it fast but to lose some fat can be quicker. There are various ways on how to lose weight but you have to do it consistently to get the result you wanted. If you want to maintain the acquired weight, you also have to continue with your dieting habits.

Here are some tips that will help you reduce some weights.

  • Exercise- it’s almost synonymous to diet. For example: Isometric Exercises may reduce your fat naturally. When you start your diet, always make sure that you do it with daily exercise
  • programs
  • Avoid eating when you don’t feel hungry.
  • Avoid soda.
  • Avoid junk food.
  • Eat foods that are low in calories
  • Don’t eat when you are on break, drink water instead
  • Never have a midnight snack
  • Try to avoid desserts
  • Don’t add monosodium glutamate (msg.) with your meals
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Envision your ideal weight and figure everyday
  • Look for a buddy/company who can do the “dieting” with you
  • Tell your friends and family that you are under “diet” for them to support and motivate you.

The last tips, visit some health site for latest diet information. Here try and learn more.

Why is counting calories dangerous?

Counting: calories, points. This latter one is quite a new trend, maybe calories and counting them were getting boring somewhat, therefore a smart doctor or nutritionist came up with the idea of converting everything in points. Food on the one hand, and physical activities on the other hand. You can even find this “point-game” on the food-boxes. It is new as idea, but it is the same misleading as the calorie counting.

Let`s just see what this is all about. We need energy to function, basically to live. Food provides the energy, it is our fuel. Science invented the measure, the unit for this, the calories. Nowadays we are just obsessed with measuring everything, and we get confused if something is not measurable. It is strange. Why do we need figures for everything…? Anyway, getting back to calories. It is nothing wrong with the fact, that we can measure the energy provided by the food and the energy we need. However, as I said in a previous article, and as it is written in text books, it is very inexact and it shouldn`t constitute the point of reference when it comes about health, or even weight loss. It is inexact, because there are so many factors contributing to the fact how many calories we need on a certain day. Even the most professional doctor or nutritionist with the most professional tools will not be able to calculate the exact number of calories.

I want to point out why this is the wrong way. Why this is not the good approach if you want to be healthy, and it is the wrong way if you want to loose weight too. Again, you have to know that loosing weight is not the goal you should set.

Imagine your city`s drinking water supply. There is a certain quantity of water cleared, and ready to provide the city`s needs. Everyday, there is a quantity of water used by the population, and engineers make sure to clear the same amount of water in order to keep the supply balanced, to avoid shortage. The water tank has to have the same quantity of water all the time. Imagine our body as being the city`s water tank. The energy we use on a day is the water used by the city, and the energy we take in (through food) is the water filling the shortage.

Water out – water in, energy out – energy in. When we “operate at our best”, this energy out and in is the same. Of course taking more energy in than the energy we use, will lead to weight gain, and taking less energy in than the energy we use leads to weight loss. And here we are. This is the base of calorie counting and point counting. They say using this tool will help us keeping the balance. Mathematically, it is correct. But as for our health, it is totally wrong.

Let`s go back to the water tank example. Imagine that the engineers don`t pay attention to the quality of the water when they fill the tank, they just make sure the quantity makes up the quantity used by the population. They don`t care if the water is not cleared properly, they consider the job as being done once the tank is full again. What do you think is going to happen? Paying attention only to the quantity of the drinking water supply, will the population be affected? Of course they will. They will get sick. This will be an obvious result.

Now, going back to our body, and thinking about the water tank example. Do you think it is correct saying that after a pack of chips or cookies you have to run 30 minutes and you are done? This is a total ramp. Maybe you made the quantity part of it even, but what about quality? Just as the water supply needs to be cleared and safe for consuming, the food you eat needs to be clear and safe for consuming too. Only natural things are safe for our body, no artificial thing can make good to our health.

Despite of the fact that the nutritionist text-books emphasize, that nobody should follow a diet based on calorie counting, as it is inexact, companies and health professionals seem to forget it, and even more than that, they direct our attention on calculating. What we see now everywhere is eating this or that food needs this or that amount of sport to make things even. Unfortunately things won`t get even. Just as you would get sick after drinking the uncleared water, the same will happen if you eat the artificial food. In fact, you might get even in terms of energy, so you might not gain weight, but you do harm your health, which make you sick in the long run.

So stop counting calories and points, and start reading labels! Once your body gets only natural food, nothing artificial, it will be able to tell you what it needs, it will be able to tell you how much is enough, so you will be in the best shape ever without calculations. You will be healthy, and if you need to loose weight, that will come naturally, as a positive side effect of eating healthily.

Stop counting, start thinking!

History of Green Tea

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The green tea history is a very interesting one. The popularity of the green tea as a health drink is rooted thousands of years back then. Before it actually mingled into the mainstream of the western market, the green tea has first existed as a common drink among the Japanese and Chinese people. It took at least several centuries then before it was actually exported from the Asian continent. Moreover, if not for the clear proofs as stressed out by the scientific studies regarding the health benefits that the green tea exudes, it may not have gained a wide popularity.

The green tea history came from different countries all over the globe. Nobody can exactly figure out when the fame of green tea was amplified in China although most tea aficionados claim that it was approximately 3,000 years ago. A legend notes that its history started out in 2730 BC when Emperor Shen Nung mistakenly dropped the Camellia sinensis leaves into a boiling water. Regardless of its exact date, what is most important is that this drink has become really well known all over the world. Portugal started marketing green tea in the early phase of the 1500s, the Venetians during the latter phase of the century, while London sold it around 1650s.

Green tea is derived from the plant known as the Camellia sinensis. It comes from the same source as that of the black tea only that the green tea is organically processed therefore the beneficial ingredients are never stripped off during the method. The nutrients and chlorophyll components are likewise retained that is why it maintains its natural flavoring and coloring. The European and North American markets have patronized green tea in the recent years because of the medical findings that have hit the public. In the coming years, the green tea is foreseen to become more popular, even possibly to become a major drink in most households. The green tea history is as vibrant as the tea itself.