Miracle of Chocolate
Over the years there have been a lot of contradictory studies on the effects of chocolate on our health. Recently, there is more and more evidence that chocolate is not as bad as we may have considered in the past. In fact, if consumed in moderation it is very good for our health. It is well known that the flavonols (anti-oxidents) in chocolate, similar to red wine, green tea and berries, can play a positive role in improving and maintaining one's cardiovascular systems and the arteries. Chocolate is also an excellent anti-inflammatory agent and helps prevent prostate disease. Having made these claims, it is still important to realize that chocolate is still heavy in calories (approximately 8 Kcal/gram). So, we should try to get the most out of chocolate by paying attention to the type and quantitiy of chocolate we consume. Here are some simple guidelines:
SELECT DARK CHOCOLATE Darker chocolate has higher percentage of cocoa and flavonols. Choose chocolates with 65-75% cocoa content.
CONSUME IN MODERATION Being a chocoholic, I realize that it is very difficult to put a chocolate bar down, but chocolate is primarily fat and represents a lot of calories. Limit consumption to an ounce of dark, quality chocolate per day.
CHECK THE INGREDIENTS In selecting a chocolate check the other ingredients. Stay away from bars containing corn syrup, high percentage sugar and hydrogenated fats. Artificial sweetners are just as bad.
AVOID MILK CHOCOLATE Milk in any form may be a blocking agent for the proper absorption of chocolate's flavonols by the body. So, the next time you crave chocolate, instead of a bar of milk chocolate and a glass of milk, try a small bar of dark chocolate and a cup a heavenly esspresso!