Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants known as polpyphenols which make up more than 10 percent of the weight of dry raw cocoa beans. The Flavonoids in chocolate help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide. Dark chocolate has its benefits, but should be eaten in reasonable amounts. It contains sugar and fat, so overindulgence could cause weight gain. The calorie and fat content can differ between brands; some dark chocolate bars contain 200 to 250 calories, 17 to 24 grams of fat per serving and 21 to 34 grams of sugar. Smaller portions can provide the antioxidants, while limiting the calories.
How to indulge in chocolate without the guilt:
- Buy pre-packaged small portions such as squares, or split a bar in four portions and wrap in foil into separate servings
- Select chocolate, preferably with at least 60% Cacao.
- Skip the nougat, carmel and filling. These fillings just add sugar and fat.
- Avoid the milk, both milk chocolate and a glass – research shows that milk could prevent the antioxidants from being absorbed or used by your body.
- Lastly… Savor the smell, feel and taste of each bite. It’s the quality, not the quantity of the experience.