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Um, Is Dark Chocolate Actually Healthy Or Are We Being Conned?

Story from: 2oceansvibe.com

Dark chocolate remains one of the last guilt-free desserts out there, and every time I wolf down a slab I console myself with the fact that I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that it’s actually good for you.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, or something like that, so I never went looking for answers. Turns out CNN decided to address the question of whether there is truth to that claim, so I’m taking you all down with me.

[We already kinda ruined dried fruit a few weeks back, so why stop now.]

First up the basics:

Dark chocolate is rich in cocoa solids, which contain compounds known as flavanols. At high levels, cocoa flavanols have been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve cognition and possibly lower the risk of diabetes. Dark chocolate has the highest amount of cocoa flavanols; milk chocolate has less, and white chocolate has none.

Hurrah, but before you get carried away there are a couple of caveats.

Those cocoa flavanols in dark chocolate can give the chocolate a bitter taste, so some manufacturers will process the choccie to make it “more palatable”.

In doing so they may remove some of the aforementioned health benefits, so it is recommended that you keep a couple of things in mind before you go full Bruce Bogtrotter:

First, buy chocolate that is at least 60% cacao (i.e. cocoa). Generally speaking, the higher the percentage, the more flavanols, though the exact amount varies from batch to batch and depends on the extent of processing…

Second, if possible, choose natural cocoa over Dutch processed cocoa, which is treated with an alkali, a compound that neutralizes [sic] acid. This gives chocolate a milder flavor but removes healthful flavanols…

And finally, to keep weight in check, limit portions to 1 ounce of dark chocolate daily, or about 150 calories.

I think we came out of that one relatively unscathed. This calls for a drink, and while we’re on the cacao train you might as well make it The Chocolate Block.

You’re on a roll, don’t stop now.

[source:cnn]

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