Saturday, May 30, 2015

Can Dark Chocolate Fit Into Your Diet?

Comparing Dark Chocolate
with Milk Chocolate

    As a borderline Type 2 Diabetic and a lover of Chocolate I had to do some research to answer this question. Controlling blood sugar and keeping my weight down are a must for me to continue living my active lifestyle. Can you balance health with the pure pleasure of having a bite of rich chocolate melt in your mouth? Come on in and see what I found.
    Wow, the research opened my eyes around chocolate. I can have something that’s really special as part of my diet without jeopardizing my numbers. For less than 4 carbohydrates and just over 1 gram of sugar you can have 1 square of 86% Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie Intense Dark chocolate.  Not a lot, at least once a day I can still enjoy a few bites of chocolate.
    The key is getting the right chocolate. It must be dark chocolate, having lower sugar content and carbohydrate levels. The key; it is not processed with ALKALI or another term is Dutch. Dutch processing destroys most of the flavonoids present in cocoa which accounts for many of the positives around dark chocolate.
    So, here are the claims, some of which are easy to validate, others may be a stretch.

Dark Chocolate:
25% less Carbohydrates than milk chocolate
Ghirardelli 86% Intense Dark Chocolate
Midnight Reverie
75% less Sugar content than milk chocolate
High in Vitamins
High in Minerals (Great for runners)
High in Antioxidants (May slow signs of ageing)
May help control blood sugar and reduce resistance to insulin
Has a low glycemic index
Good for your teeth, contains Theobromine
Raises HDL (good cholesterol and lowers LDL (bad cholesterol)
May lower blood pressure
May increase blood flow to the brain (Old guys like me can use all the brain power we can get)
May help protect your skin from the sun

What are the setbacks from dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate costs almost 3 times more than milk chocolate
Dark chocolate has double the fat content

    Though there is ongoing research into the potential health benefits of individual flavonoids, neither the FDA has approved any health claim for flavonoids or approved any flavonoids as pharmaceutical drugs. I’ll have to leave it up to you to validate the claims around dark chocolate, but there is enough data for me to allow a small portion of dark chocolate in my diet. Put a smile on your face and let a bit of dark chocolate melt in your mouth today.

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