Great News for Chocoholics!
When Milton Hershey established his chocolate company in the early 1900’s, we are pretty sure he had no idea that today chocolate would be touted as a super food capable of reducing the risk of everything from heart disease to strokes. Chocolate, the food of the Gods, has been present at ancient celebrations, in the trenches during two world wars and smeared on the faces of children around the world. But now, this stuff of legends has been found to be packed with anti-oxidants—the nutritional armor protecting us from free radicals (those pesky molecules that cause aging). Take a look at the power chocolate packs in the world of anti-oxidants. Of high favanol-containing foods, only black plums pack a bigger punch.
Granted, chocolate is high in fat and sugars, but in moderation it is an important part of a healthy diet. Great news for all of us chocoholics! The trick is to become a label reader. Here is a brief nutritional overview of the major types of chocolate choices, courtesy of the U.S.D.A.
“Diet is not a verb”, says Debra Miller, Ph.D., Hershey’s nutritionist and health expert. “It’s everything you take into your body…and not just for a day, but over a week, a month and your lifetime.”
As far as treats go, chocolate is a good one. Dark chocolate and cocoa can provide many health benefits, particularly for your heart. Milk chocolate can provide calcium, which is good for your bones. And despite its saturated fat content, eating chocolate does not raise cholesterol levels. Studies show that even people who ate 10 ounces (about 6½ standard bars) a day did not have elevated cholesterol levels
“Chocolate in its original form is a plant,” Miller said. “It’s hard to go wrong eating plants.”