isn't in love with chocolate? It can be a bitter-sweet
relationship! It tastes so heavenly yet sticks you with
loads of calories and fat.
However if you try to stick to cocoa, or choose chocolate that
contains more heart-healthy fats, you can make it more of a sweeter
relationship than a bitter one.
and some other chocolates contain flavonoids - the same
headline-grabbing health-promoting substances found in tea, red
wine, soy foods, cranberries, peanuts, strawberries, apples and
many other fruits and vegetables. The flavonoids in chocolate are
latest research finds that eating flavonoid-rich foods may reduce
the risk of cardiovascular disease.
has found that dark chocolate is higher in flavonoids than milk
chocolate. The manufacturing of cocoa powder and chocolate
syrups removes most flavonoids.
main fat, stearic acid, may be heart-healthy. Our bodies convert
it to a monounsaturated or healthy type of fat.
So What's the Catch...
There's a hitch, though: The good stuff is in the cocoa. But most
chocolate is also rich in saturated fats - the kind that raises
"bad" or LDL cholesterol. Products made with partially
hydrogenated vegetable oils also contain cholesterol-raising trans
fatty acids. Not to mention that many of the candy bars we eat are
full of nougat, nuts, caramel, peanut butter, and other high fat, high
sugar, and high calorie ingredients.
The Smart Way To Eat Chocolate
When you get that urge for chocolate, choose dark chocolate. It contains slightly more flavonoids and proportionately more stearic acid than
milk chocolate. Do your best to keep urges down to a minimum but when you get the urge just snack on a small piece.
For a more common indulgence, try real cocoa. Make hot cocoa with skim
milk or low-fat soymilk - and use it in cooking and/or baking.