Ask: Is chocolate healthy? Can I include it in a healthy diet?

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Question : Is chocolate healthy? Is it considered “junk food”, or can I get away with including it in a healthy diet?

Chocolate: the food of the Gods. A rich, creamy delicacy that taunts and teases its way into even the more careful eaters. It’s hard to say no to this delectable treat. Luckily, not all chocolates are the same.

Milk chocolate and white chocolate are full of sugar, so they’re not going to help you lose weight or restrict your calories. Dark chocolate with a cocoa percentage of 75 percent or higher, however, is considered healthy when eaten in moderation.

Dark chocolate can help satisfy your cravings for sweets without the guilt. Here’s why.

Research has shown that dark chocolate is good for your heart health, circulation and your brain health. It’s mineral rich, with high quantities of potassium, zinc and selenium. It’s also high in iron, which helps to carry oxygen from your lungs to your body.

If you take one piece of dark chocolate and let it sit on your tongue while it melts, you will without fail satisfy your sweet craving. Keep a bar in your fridge so it stays fresh and pull out a square (or two!) after dinner or whatever time of day your cravings typically strike. You won’t be sacrificing a high calorie count but you won’t be depriving yourself either.

Remember, everything is ok when taken in moderation. Milk chocolate isn’t your enemy, so long as you don’t down an entire block of it in one sitting. If you can show restraint by having small pieces here and there, it’s certainly not going to show up on our hips anytime soon.

Cate

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