Enjoy Chocolate in Moderation

I'll be honest, I enjoy chocolate. And that's okay...in moderation,  

You've probably heard before that dark chocolate is best health-wise, milk chocolate is worse, and white chocolate is the worst. Here's why:

Flavonoids 


Cocoa, an ingredient in chocolate bars, contains flavonoids. Dark chocolate contains more flavonoids than milk chocolate. White chocolate does not contain any flavonoids.

Flavonoids are also found in fruits, vegetables, and tea leaves. (Sorry, there's no need to eat chocolate. We're getting flavonoids from other foods we should be eating daily.)
  
Flavonoids lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Specifically, studies have shown that dark chocolate lowers blood pressure and reduces LDL cholesterol levels.  Chocolate flavonoids are also associated with improved brain function in older adults.  

Fat, Sugar, and Calories 
Be careful when choosing a chocolate treat. The same things that make chocolate taste good make chocolate bad for you. Milk chocolate contains not only milk but sugar; that's what makes it sweeter than dark chocolate. 

One 1.55 oz. milk chocolate Hershey bar has 220 calories, 13 grams fat, and 24 grams of sugar. Hershey's Special Dark is a little bit better but not much with 190 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 21 grams of sugar. 

Extra calories lead to weight gain and high fat intake increases cholesterol. These may reduce the effect flavonoids have on heart health.  



Conclusion 
Chocolate can be a part of a healthy diet. Studies have shown that even small doses of 
chocolate provide health benefitsSo, instead of eating a whole chocolate bar, 
consider breaking the bar into multiple servings or buying individually wrapped pieces 
of chocolate.  

Although chocolate provides some heart health benefits, remember to eat it in moderation. You can get the same health benefits by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.  



Chocolate Bar Junk Food Nutrition
Try breaking a bar of chocolate into smaller pieces to 
enjoy it in moderation over multiple
occasions, rather than eating a whole bar at one time.
No copyright infringement intended by mentioning a specific chocolate brand. Nor am I suggesting you should eat that brand over another brand. 

I wrote a similar post for a hospital blog a few years ago. My understanding is they decided not to publish it. If you come across it, though, please let me know. 

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