The Truth About Chocolate


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This article goes out to all of you chocolate lovers! If I told you that teenagers who eat chocolate tend to have less abdominal fat & total fat you would probably laugh. Funny enough, studies have proven this is actually true! Seems unbelievable right?

A study done in Europe tested the eating and lifestyle habits of 1458 young people ages 12-17. The study found that those who consumed a higher amount of chocolate had lower levels of total and abdominal fat. This study measured such things as body fat percentage & BMI. Although each teen had different levels of activity during their day as well as different eating habits, the consumption held true.

Chocolate is high in flavonoids, which can help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure. Flavonoids are found in a variety of different foods, chocolate being one of them. They provide good antioxidant power necessary to perform many bodily functions. You might be wondering about the fat in chocolate, how bad is it for you? You might be surprised to know that the fat in chocolate is made up of oleic acid, which is heart healthy. Research has shown that these type of acids neither raise or lower cholesterol. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean we can eat all of the chocolate we want, there are still many unwanted calories.

benefits-of-dark-chocolate-on-heart.jpgsource: www.acozykitchen.com

If you've ever heard, that eating a small piece of chocolate a few times per week can be beneficial, you've heard correctly! Eating small amounts can be extremely beneficial to your health. There are also other flavonoid rich foods that are important to eat as well. Some include, red wine, tea, cranberries and apples!

So next time you have that craving and reach for a small piece of chocolate, don't feel so guilty! It's important to remember that some types of chocolate (filled chocolates, covered chocolates, candy bars) aren't the best option. Try to pick something simple, preferably dark chocolate for a snack. Dark chocolate covered berries are a wonderful option, providing two antioxidants! Click here for a list of some foods with flavonoids! 

3 Comments

This article definitely caught my attention because my mom would always tell me that if I was craving chocolate, eat dark. I never actually thought that dark chocolate could be good for you, because it was still so yummy. This quote taken from the article, Dark Chocolate Could Prevent Heart Attack Problems in High-Risk People, "Daily consumption of dark chocolate can reduce cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, in people with metabolic syndrome (a cluster of factors that increases the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes), finds a study published in the British Medical Journal." 60% of dark chocolate contains cocoa solids which are rich in flavonoids. These flavonoids are known to have heart protecting qualities. I think it is important to incorporate a sweet in your diet everyday, and dark chocolate is the perfect snack!

Chocolate is one of my favorite deserts to eat by far! Anything chocolaty I love so this article was definitely an interesting one for me. I find it interesting that teens that eat more chocolate than others have a less abdominal fat. This is probably true to some extent or maybe the calories consumed from chocolate don't go to your lower abdominal but maybe another area of the body? I've also heard that people who eat chocolate seem to be happier. Chocolate is a food that is known to release endorphins causing humans to be happy! Here’s an article that I found with a little more information.
http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/indepth.food/sweets/chocolate.cravings/

This is an interesting article! I always keep 70% dark chocolate in my freezer in case I'm craving something sweet. However, I would have to politely disagree with you that all chocolate can be considered somewhat healthy, even in small amounts. Though in small amounts, chocolate can be considered harmless, saying that it is healthy would be a bit of a stretch. Although chocolate does have some of the benefits you describe, the ingredients used in the processing of chocolates like hershey bars eliminate much of the nutritional value. In addition, candies like this tend to be relatively high in calorie content, fat, and sugar.

Here is an article describing the benefits of dark chocolate. So if you're craving something sweet and still want to try to be healthy, try this as an option instead of milk chocolate!
http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/6-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate.html

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