Is Chocolate A New Health Food?
by: Meri Raffetto
Could it be possible that our beloved chocolate may actually be good for us? This is the
nutrition news we have all been waiting for. So here is the scoop on chocolate and its
health benefits. Yes, you read right, health benefits!

Recent studies show that cocoa and dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contain
many heart-healthy antioxidants. They contain a compound called flavonoids which may
help prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol
levels in the blood. There is also some evidence that these flavonoids may prevent
certain cancers.

It is important that we are all on the same page here, not all chocolate have these health
benefits. The healthy flavonoids found in chocolate are found in the cocoa butter and
cocoa solids. Milk chocolate is diluted with milk and sugar and contains little amounts of
these substances, therefore providing fewer health benefits. So, for those of you who
love dark chocolate this is your lucky day! The darker the chocolate, the higher the
cocoa content and the more antioxidants it contains. The quality of the chocolate you
consume is also important. The cocoa butter is quite pricey so less expensive brands will
replace the cocoa butter with milk fats and hydrogenated oils which are bad for our
health. Look for high quality chocolates with their main ingredients being cocoa butter
and cocoa solids. Unsweetened cocoa powder is one of the purest forms of chocolate
you can eat and is lower in fat and calories than other chocolates.

Although this is great news for all chocolate lovers, don't forget that most chocolate
(unless you use unsweetened cocoa powder) does still contain sugar and saturated fat.

And please remember calories. An ounce of chocolate contains around 135 calories. So
enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or an ounce of chocolate once in awhile to contribute to your
health and not to your waistline!



About the Author


Owner of Real Living Nutrition Services, Meri Raffetto is a recognized professional in
the area of nutrition and wellness. She has received a bachelor's degree in both nutrition
and psychology and has extensive experience in nutrition counseling and medical
nutrition therapy. She offers individual nutrition counseling and has developed one of the
only non-diet online weight management programs available on the internet. Meri
specializes in weight management, cardiovascular health, and sports nutrition and
consults with professional athletes at Titan Sports Performance Center. Her practice
includes teaching people how to eat for endurance, improve vitality, and lose weight
healthfully. For more information visit
.



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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The
content on this website is not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease.
 ©2006 Every Nutrient



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