It’s not that chocolates are a substitute for love. Love is a substitute for chocolate. Chocolate is, let’s face it, far more reliable than man.” Miranda Ingram

How Sweet it Is

Everywhere you look you read something about the value of chocolate, but not just any chocolate, the rage centers around the dark variety. In addition, between dark, milk and white chocolate there is a world of difference. That brings us to segue that “not all chocolate is created equal.”

White chocolate is not chocolate at all. It is a nearly white confection based on cocoa butter without the cocoa solids. It also includes milk and sugar. White chocolate does not necessarily contain cocoa butter, and is generally made from hydrogenated vegetable oil instead. (another name for ‘trans fats’; really, really bad stuff)

Milk chocolate is made by combining chocolate liquid, extra cocoa butter, milk or cream, sweeteners and flavorings. It is a popular treat because of its sweetness, though it doesn’t impart the same health benefits of its cousin, dark chocolate.

However, the star of the show is ‘dark’ chocolate, luscious, creamy, smooth and believe it or not, good for you. Skeptical? From ancient times, the cocoa bean has been used for health promoting and medicinal properties. More recently, a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture evaluated antioxidant capacities of commonly consumed foods, confirmed the high value for dark chocolate. It recorded a total antioxidant capacity score of 1039 per gram, while blueberries, a fruit highly publicized as a good source of antioxidants, scored 93. Plant flavonoids keep cholesterol form gathering in the blood vessels, reduce the risk of blood clots, and slow down the immune responses that lead to clogged arteries. Dark chocolate contains more flavonoids than any other food, including green tea, red wine and blueberries.

What are the possible health benefits of adding dark chocolate to an already healthy diet? It all has to do with understanding how the high antioxidant content of dark chocolate can benefit our overall total health. Studies have shown that moderate amounts of this treat can lower blood pressure, increase blood flow in the artery. Better blood flow is good for your heart.

Now I am certainly not condoning consuming large quantities of dark chocolate in place of a healthy diet; this is not a license to over-indulge. A number of factors must be figured in. Keep in mind that sweets, chocolate in particular, has a high caloric content and gobbling up a bag of Dove© Dark Chocolate Promises is not what I recommend. Moderation is the key. In addition, your present state of health must be taken into consideration before integrating this decadent treat into a daily routine. With anything in life, moderation is the key.

to your good health,