Chocolate Is A ‘Health’ Food?
Yes, indeed! Coca powder and especially dark chocolate (the more bitter-sweet type) is richer in antioxidants than red wine, an aspirin or an apple. This antioxidant (called Flavanol) can be helpful in controlling bad cholesterol and may even reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, because it reduces blood clotting.
Not all chocolates or even dark chocolates are created equal and some are specially made to pack more of this helpful property, such as Dove Dark Chocolate which is among the highest in Favanol levels of the various brands.
It is actually the cocoa powder (actually cocoapro) content has the most to do with the effectiveness of the chocolate in being an antioxidant. This ingredient actually makes arteries more flexible, which means it is useful in combating “hardening of the arteries” which is a form of coronary disease that affects many people as they get over 50 in age. But, according the researchers at that University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, pure cocoa powder (which is not always the same as what you find in “instant cocoa mix”) has the highest amounts of Flavanol, followed by dark chocolate (which is made with cocoa powder).
Only about an ounce per day of dark chocolate or cocoa powder is required to help keep the body in good shape, but remember there are still a lot of calories and in the case of dark chocolate there is a lot of fat in each helping, so you must be in a position to handle those extra calories and the up to 11 or more grams of fat in each piece of dark chocolate candy.
Once again, we are not necessarily talking about one of those foil wrapped “kisses” but more like the “bitter sweet morsels” you use for chocolate chip cookies. The lighter the chocolate the less cocoa powder and antioxidant value. The more darker (and bitter) the chocolate the higher the likelihood it contains more of these beneficial chemical properties. Many "peanut butter cups" may eventually find more cocoa added to their chocolate in an effort to create and promote a candy that can be readily called beneficial in controlling bad cholesterol and arterial problems, as peanut oil (and butter) is considered a very "good fat" that you should consume now and then.
While no one is yet officially terming chocolate candy a "health" food nor incorporating it into an official dietary plan, it is clear that some forms of chocolate can now be added to the list of things that some people should consider doing on a regular basis as a part of a healthier lifestyle. These other things would include having an aspirin a day, an apple, a little red wine and some very dark green vegetables like broccoli. The people who need to do some of these things would generally be older in age (above 30), normal in weight and not a border line diabetic.
Just don’t go hog wild and think eating a box of candy will make you healthy, that much chocolate can hurt the body far more than any benefits from the antioxidants! Candy still shoots up the blood sugar levels which may increase the chances of stroke or heart attack, plus this much sugar is taxing the Pancreas, it have an effect on hyperactivity, is a strong element in the promotion of tooth decay and sugars may eventually hurt the stomach lining.
Finally, remember that the calories (170+ per ounce) and "not so good" fat content (upwards to 11 grams per ounce) that are associated with most chocolate candies are only beneficial to someone of normal weight and size. Chocolate is not a weight loss diet food, the average candy bar is 200 to 300 "dead" calories which is the eqivalent of a large broiled fish fillet or half a skinless chicken breast. Real food still provides the dieter with far more protiens and nutrients, with generally less fat or sugar producing carbohydrates.
Our Slim Down, Trim Up and Be Healthier For Summer Special Continues With:
Diet Info |
Diets and Exercise |
Sugar + Carbs
New Food Pyramid |
Creatine Pros and Cons |
Health Cults |
Diet Meal: Teriyaki Chicken
Lower Calorie Burger Maker |
Healthy Chocolate? |
And From Past Issues We Also Offer You:
Free PC Calorie Counter Software |
Are You On A Sugar Diet? |
Recreating Your Physical Body |
Shed Those Pounds! |
Love of Food |
Skinny Aint All It's...