Not all chocolate is created equal.
That's why sometimes it's touted as a health food and other times we hear we should run the other way.
In this post, I'm going to share with you some things to look for in chocolate so you can choose the most nutritious kind and enjoy it guilt-free.
Let's get started.
Top Health Benefits of Chocolate
- Contains magnesium, shown to fight depression, fatigue and irritability
- Boosts serotonin (the "feel-good" hormone)
- Contains flavanols which have antioxidant qualities and support heart health
- May reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, decrease bad cholesterol, and improve circulation
How to Choose Healthy Chocolate
- Select dark chocolate containing at least 60% Cacao (the higher the percentage, the less sugar & the more health benefits) -- You will not experience the same health benefits from milk chocolate or white chocolate
- Choose organic (no harmful pesticide residues or GMOs- genetically modified organisms)
- The less processed, the better
- Choose one where the first ingredient is NOT sugar
- Choose one that does NOT contain high fructose corn syrup, fillers, emulsifiers, artificial flavoring, and any ingredient that sounds like it belongs in a chemistry lab
Examples of Ingredients that are Overall NOT Health Promoting:
- HERSHEY KISSES FILLED WITH CARAMEL:Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Milk, Nonfat Milk, Soy Lecithin, PGPR, Emulsifier, Vanillin, Artificial Flavor), Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sorbitol, Nonfat Milk, Dairy Butter (Milk), Contains 2% or Less of Milkfat (Milk), Soy Lecithin, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Vanilla, Artificial Flavor.
- FERRERO ROCHER:Milk chocolate (30%) (Sugar, Cocoa butter, Cocoa mass, Skim milk powder, Anhydrous milkfat, Emulsifier: soy lecithin, Flavouring: Vanillin), Hazelnuts (30%), Sugar, Vegetable oil, Wheat flour, Whey powder, Fat-reduced cocoa powder, Emulsifier (Soy lecithin), Skim milk powder, Raising agent (Sodium bicarbonate), Salt, Flavouring (Vanillin). Total Cocoa solids: 15.8% / in Milk Chocolate: 42%.
How to Eat Chocolate so it Loves You Back
- Be mindful of portion sizes, as even the most nutritious chocolate can sabotage your weight loss and health goals if you overeat it.
- If you have a bar of chocolate, break it up into small pieces (approximately 1 oz each). When you are craving dessert or something sweet, take out one piece and put the rest away.
- Eat slowly and savor every bite. Dark chocolate is very rich...a little goes a long way!
Healthy, Tasty, and Easy Chocolate Recipes
- Guilt-Free Chocolate Fudge
- Better than JELL-O Chocolate Pudding
- Chilled Chocolate Raspberry Pudding
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Bliss Bites
(If you're opting not to make your own, here's an awesome, nutritious brand of organic chocolate you can order online and have delivered straight to your door)