Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is chocolate good for you?

There's no denying that chocolate is good. And I mean really, really good. But is it good for you? I did some research and discovered a variety of different studies that all indicate chocolate—to be specific, cocoa—can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. One article referenced a publication called Circulation: Heart Failure in which the American Heart Association explained a 9-year study conducted in Sweden. It concluded that chocolate has the ability to curb the risk of heart failure in older women.

And I quote: "Women who ate an average of one to two servings of the high-quality chocolate per week had a 32 percent lower risk of developing heart failure." Apparently, all credit goes to the flavonoids found within the chocolate they ate. According to the dictionary, flavonoids are "water-soluble plant pigments...polyphenols that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties." Sound tasty? Yeah, but only if you pick the right piece of chocolate. Pick wrong (or pick too often), and you'll end up consuming a load of calories and fat. It should go without saying that dark chocolate surpasses both milk and white chocolate as it contains more cocoa. And therefore, more flavonoids. WebMD recommends eating just an ounce per serving, which they equate to about six Hershey's Kisses. I'm incapable of telling you how much to consume in a week, but I'd keep it as close to one serving as possible. Yeah, I know. Sounds impossible. If you're like me (see bag of dark chocolate peanuts above), you're a chocoholic. It's tasty, but only meant to be a tasty treat on occasion. Remember little Augustus Gloop?

Though I envy his swim in the chocolate river, I embrace his lesson. Chocolate, like any other treat, is meant to be consumed sparingly. Only then can you truly appreciate it as a treat. Possibly even as a healthy treat. And with all that hard work you do at the gym, treats are definitely acceptable. On occasion, of course.

Question: What's your favorite way to eat chocolate? Your favorite scene from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?"

1 comment:

Angie said...

Something from South Bend Chocolate snuck into the movies. I always eat too much!

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