Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Let's Talk About Chocolate

Easter is just a few days away and most people have been indulging in their favorite chocolate treats. Whether it is shaped like bunnies or eggs, store shelves are bursting with these popular holiday delights. So, let’s talk about chocolate!

Is Chocolate Really Good For You?

Chocolate lovers rejoiced when studies showed that dark chocolate offers some health benefits. Cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, contains flavonoids which makes it a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidant properties are important because they fight against free radicals that may cause damage to our cells. The greater the cocoa content (or the darker the chocolate) the greater the benefits for heart health.  This could lead to reducing blood pressure, risk of heart disease, and even diabetes.

How Much Chocolate Should You Eat?

While it is true that dark chocolate has benefits, it is still a high-sugar and high-fat food that should be eaten in moderation. This means, instead of eating an entire candy bar, opt for just a square or two. Try to avoid chocolate with any kind of filling, such as cream, caramel, or peanut butter.  These add to the sugar and fat content. Indulge in dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or more.  Remember, the darker the chocolate, the better for your health. 

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