Has your diet dampened your excitement for tasty treats? The take heart in the fact that science says chocolates are actually good for health!
It’s true that milk chocolate is full of sugar and high on fat. But dark chocolate, with a cacao percentage of 70 and above, is full of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), has less carbs (since it contains half the amount of sugar and four times the fiber compared to milk chocolate) and is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Regular consumption of dark chocolate is beneficial for the cardiovascular system, can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The darker the chocolate the better the health benefits. Cocoa also tops the list of flavanol-rich foods, with the potential to boost heart health, lower blood sugar, and decrease body fat. Of course, chocolate alone will not help. It has to be supported by a well-planned diet and exercise regime.
Custom-made chocolates are better than those bought off the shelf, as you get to choose the ingredients, whose quality is better than mass produced ones. If buying from a store, expensive ones will also give you better quality. Look out for a “processed by alkali” on the label. These have lower antioxidant content.
Some quick tips on how to satisfy those chocolate cravings
- Pop dark chocolate chips one by one, instead of an entire handful.
- Buy small bars and store at home instead of the large ones.
- Make your own shakes, drinks and sauces at home by using cocoa powder. Skim milk hot chocolate and shakes made with cocoa powder will give you that sweet fill.
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