Food Facts: Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate no longer has to be the forbidden fruit! Next time you indulge yourself to a piece of creamy dark chocolate, don’t feel so guilty. Researchers have found that this bittersweet treat is a tool for good health!

The latest studies by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as numerous other organizations, find that dark chocolate may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, due to its rich concentration of flavonoids. These compounds are antioxidants, helping to rid our bodies of disease causing agents. The cocoa from the cacao bean, from which dark chocolate is made, contains these powerful substances. You might be surprised to hear that dark chocolate may contain more flavonoids than black tea, red wine, and even apples, in certain proportions!

Unfortunately, white chocolate and milk chocolate do not provide the same health benefits.In addition, recent research indicates that the consumption of milk with dark chocolate may interfere with the absorption of the antioxidants. So when enjoying this tasty treat, eat it with a glass of water and save the milk for your cereal. Also, it is important to consume it with moderation. While heart healthy, dark chocolate is also calorie dense; therefore, limit your daily intake.Instead of eating the entire Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Bar, treat yourself to two squares for a day well done! This way, you still get the healthy benefits while keeping your waistline slim and savoring the chocolate all week long!

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Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

University of Michigan Health System



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