Chocolate: Food of the Gods
The Power of Chocolate
- Reduced blood pressure
- Lowers risk for heart failure
- Improved blood flow
- Increased HDL (good) cholesterol
The Dark Side of Chocolate
- Minimize—Often a small taste is all you need. Skip the two-pound bars and buy minibars (half-ounce or less) of chocolate. A half-ounce of milk chocolate, about the size of 3 Hershey Kisses, contains less than 80 calories and 5 grams of fat. In addition, choose good quality dark chocolate over other types; dark chocolate contains higher amounts of healthy antioxidants, like those found in red wine and green tea.
- Try cocoa—Cocoa powder has most of the cocoa butter (the fatty part) removed. A tablespoon of cocoa can have as little as 20 calories and 0.5 grams of fat. Use cocoa instead of milk chocolate or baking chocolate in your cooking to give a chocolate flavor with less fat. Or, fix a warm mug of hot cocoa to soothe a craving.
- Squirt some syrup—Top low-fat frozen yogurt or ice cream with chocolate-flavored syrup (made with cocoa). A tablespoon adds lots of flavor and as little as 50 calories and no fat.
- Explore your options—Check the supermarket for chocolate-flavored products, including nonfat and low-fat chocolate pudding, chocolate-flavored rice cakes, frozen yogurt, and hot cocoa
American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics http://www.eatright.org
Food Insight International Food Information Council Foundation http://www.foodinsight.org
Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Chocolate. EBSCO Natural and Alternative Treatments website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/biomedical-libraries/natural-alternative-treatments. Updated September 18, 2014. Accessed October 21, 2014.
Dietary recommendations for cardiovascular disease prevention. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 20, 2014. Accessed October 21, 2014.
History of Chocolate. Field Museum website. Available at: http://archive.fieldmuseum.org/chocolate/history.html. Accessed October 21, 2014.
Hodgson JM, Devine A, et al. Chocolate consumption and bone density in older women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87:175-180.
Ingredient in chocolate may help you think more clearly. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/News/Global/SimpleScience/Ingredient-in-chocolate-may-help-you-think-more-clearly%5FUCM%5F443534%5FArticle.jsp. Updated October 16, 2012. Accessed October 21, 2014.
Moderate chocolate consumption linked to lower risks of heart failure. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://newsroom.heart.org/news/1091. Accessed Accessed October 21, 2014.
Parker G, Parker I, et al. Mood state effects of chocolate. J Affect Disord. 2006;92(2-3):149-159.
Vlachopoulos C, Alexopoulos N, et al. Effect of dark chocolate on arterial function in healthy individuals: cocoa instead of ambrosia? Curr Hypertens Rep. 2006;8(3):205-211.
12/17/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Lewis JR, Prince RL, et al. Habitual chocolate intake and vascular disease: a prospective study of clinical outcomes in older women. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(20):1857-1858.
10/14/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Buitrago-Lopez A, Sanderson J, et al. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2011;343:d4488.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2014 -
- Update Date: 10/21/2014 -