Here’s a little something to sweeten your week: There is increasing evidence that chocolate is good for your heart. But not just any chocolate; dark chocolate is what you need, not milk or white (and many would argue that white chocolate is not chocolate at all). Recent studies show that ingredients in dark chocolate can help promote heart health, reduce the risk of some types of cancer, improve insulin sensitivity, control blood pressure and may even have a future role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. For more information, see this article in the Washington Post.
Of course, chocolate is still not a health food. It’s high in fat, sugar, and calories, so keep your portions small. Indulging in a small amount won’t kill you or throw your diet off course. Just remember: A little square of good quality dark chocolate is vastly superior to large piles of M&Ms.
As for myself, as I’ve been learning new food habits in the past few months, my attitudes toward chocolate and sweets in general have changed drastically. I used to eat chocolate — usually cheap stuff like Hershey’s and M&Ms — throughout the day. Now, however, not only I have cut w-a-y back on the quantity I consume, I’ve also started going for quality. I’m buying myself good stuff, like Dagoba Organic Chocolate bars, and having a square or two after dinner. If I’m having one of THOSE days, I’ll have a square during the afternoon as a pick-me-up, but not every day. Eating the good stuff has spoiled me and now I can’t imagine ever resuming my love affair with Hershey’s. The M&Ms, however, will probably remain a guilty pleasure, but only as a one night stand every now and then.