Tuesday Tip – Making Chocolate Count!

Image courtesy of Microsoft Word Clip artOkay, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it! Reuters is reporting that researchers in the United Kingdom “will explore whether compounds called flavonoids found in chocolate and other foods can reduce the risk of heart disease for menopausal women with type 2 diabetes. . .”

In order to conduct the studies, they need volunteers. I suspect they may find themselves with a waiting list of volunteers.

Actually, not eating the chocolate is one of the hardest things about my diet/lifestyle change. I love chocolate. Actually, who doesn’t love chocolate (although come to think of it, my daughter doesn’t like chocolate!).

So what can you do to make the chocolate count?

Well, according to some, dark chocolate can help lower high blood pressure.

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which are anti-oxidants and can protect against free radicals which can cause heart disease. These flavonoids are present in red wine, tea, all kinds of berries, nuts and other fruits and vegetables. The flavonoids in chocolate are called flavonols and they help build nitric oxide in your body.

What does nitric oxide do? Some studies suggest that this compound helps keep blood flowing and prevents platelets from sticking together to cause clots, leading to a healthier heart.

A CNN report indicated that chocolate can also improve your skin, boost memory and attention span by increasing blood flow to the brain! Not to mention that dark chocolate has been linked to reducing bad cholesterol!

So, have a bit of chocolate (the darker the better), but remember that chocolate has lots of fat and usually sugar so moderation is key. I found some organic sugar free dark chocolate that only had about 200 calories per serving and was pretty tasty. The serving size on that bar was 9 squares of chocolate which was more than I needed for the typical craving, so I was able to keep calorie/fat down by eating less of it each time.

The Hershey’s Sugar Free chocolates are pretty good as well and according to their nutrition facts, a 16 gram bar has 80 calories (35 from fat).

Also try Almond M&Ms, which have 200 calories per serving (100 fat calories however). The Almond M&M’s have the added benefit of the almonds which are also high in antioxidants.

Want to share your love of chocolate? Check out Virtual Chocolate, on online website totally dedicated to what else — chocolate!

Hope this Tuesday Tip helps with your chocolate cravings!

10 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip – Making Chocolate Count!”

  1. Definitely the reason for deviousness. We must let chocolate prevail at all costs and thanks for the suggestion about Dove. I will have to check them out.

    On a personal note, hubby likes dark chocolate and I bought him some by Hershey’s — there’s a select version in a gold bag? We also have added eating a lot more nuts to our diet.

    Anyway, when he had his cholesterol checked, the good cholesterol was so high that the doc told him there was nothing to do!

    Yeah chocolate and nuts

  2. Honey and I have had sugar-free chocolate on our shopping list as a
    staple for about two years now! Thank
    goodness for whoever devised the sugar-free process! That person has preserved the sanity of all of us who,
    for whatever reason, can no longer
    eat “regular” chocolate!! My favorite
    dark chocolate is Dove, it’s not sugar
    free, but has the best flavor among
    the dark varieties. In order to have it,
    I’ll eat raw veggies all day, thus I can
    allow my self the necessary 1 or 2
    pieces of Dove! Lack of chocolate
    is the major cause of the increase of
    deviousness in the world!!!

    Pat Cochran

  3. LOL! I think this is the same company that makes the sugar free bar I tried. This one had almonds and currants. Very tasty. I can buy them at the Amish Market which is about 2 blocks from my office.

  4. *HOWLING*

    I’ve developed a love of Green and Blacks Hazelnut and Currant dark chocolate bars but it means driving all the way across town to get it and have you SEEN the price of gas? I stock up when I go get my haircut cuz it’s right down the road (and threaten my children with bodily injury if they touch it—luckily it’s not sweet enough for them). hehehe

  5. Thanks to Karen T for this!

    Chocolate is a vegetable

    Chocolate is derived from cacao beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, which place them in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.
    To go one step further, chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is dairy. So candy bars are a health food.
    Chocolate-covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.
    If you’ve got melted chocolate all over your hands, you’re eating it too slowly.
    The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car. The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.
    Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It’ll take the edge off your appetite, and you’ll eat less.
    If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves. (We’re testing this with other snack foods as well.)
    If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet? Don’t they actually counteract each other?
    Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger. Therefore, you need to eat more chocolate.
    Put “eat chocolate” at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.
    A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Now, isn’t that handy?
    If you can’t eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can’t eat all your chocolate, what’s wrong with you?
    If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated. You can’t let that happen, can you?

  6. Sign me up!

    There’s other ways to get chocolate too. Most pumpernickle bread is made with cocoa. (at least all the recipes I’ve seen – used to give it that distinctive dark color) Mole is made with cocoa too I think.

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