Please welcome Nadia Jones to Dietriffic today by leaving her a comment below ~ Melanie
Chocolate, while wonderful and delicious, it’s usually the first thing to get the boot when we try to lose weight.
It’s notorious for being high in calories and sugar, making it every dieter’s nightmare.
Is Chocolate Healthy?
You may have heard that chocolate can be a health food. So, is chocolate healthy? Well yes, some chocolate can actually improve your overall health.
This is because it is rich in flavonoids. These are antioxidants that promote healthy skin, and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Chocolate also helps release dopamine and endorphins (chemicals that elevate our mood). It is a source of iron and calcium. And, some studies even show that in its liquid form, chocolate milk can boost your workout.
That said, not all chocolate counts. So, follow the rules listed below to help you make the best choices.
Rule #1 Eat Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate may be a little bitter for some taste buds, but if you’re going to give in to your sweet tooth, this is the best kind to eat.
That’s because the darker the chocolate, the higher the amounts of cacao it contains.
Cacao is really what carries all of the health improving properties, like the ability to reduce blood pressure.
So, try to choose dark chocolate, containing at least 60% cocoa to make sure you are getting a decent amount of antioxidants and flavonoids. This information can be found on the back of the packaging.
Rule #2 Eat In Moderation
Whenever you crave chocolate, go ahead and give in to temptation. You’ll be able to maintain your weight better if you do.
Well, if you fight your cravings, you are more likely to end up eating something that is higher in calories, just because you were trying to avoid eating a few squares of chocolate.
But, the key here is “moderation!” Think bite-size.
One or two small pieces of chocolate won’t ruin your entire diet, and they’ll satisfy your craving. Just don’t allow yourself to overdo-it.
Rule 3# Eat Chocolate Covered Fruits
Lastly, while chocolate bars are usually the standard, if you’d rather eat something that has more nutritional value, and also boosts your diet with a little extra fiber and other nutrients, go for dark chocolate covered nuts, raisins, cherries, or even sunflower seeds.
New York Peppermint Patties are a good choice, too, since one patty has less than 150 calories.
Is chocolate healthy? Check out the linked article for more information.
So, Is Chocolate Healthy? Melanie Adds…
For the ultimate in “healthy” chocolate, go for raw chocolate, cocoa nibs, and cocoa powder.
These foods have been minimally processed, which means they retain more of the healthy ingredients Nadia has been mentioning.
While they tend to be more bitter in taste, experiment with them to find what you enjoy.
Try adding them to baked goods. The cocoa nibs can even be sprinkled into salads. And, cocoa powder is said to be good added into gravies, as a thickener to replace flour or cornstarch.
What do you think, is chocolate healthy? How do you prefer to eat it?