When It Comes to Chocolate, Dark is Best

Good news: Dark chocolate has the highest antioxidant content of any food. Antioxidants are food chemicals that have heart-protecting benefits, including increased HDL (good cholesterol) levels and reduced LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. And as we all know, chocolate can be a great mood booster. However, just any old chocolate won’t do. You have to go for the darkest chocolate you can buy—bars that contain at least 70 percent cocoa. Also, be sure to eat it in moderation, because it does contain fat and calories. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. Just a 1-ounce serving per day (about one square from a large bar) is all you need to get the health benefits. And because of its rich flavor and fat content, you’ll feel satisfied with this small amount. Look for these brands: Dagoba, Equal Exchange, Green & Black’s, and Valrhona. If you find it too difficult to limit yourself to just one square of the dark stuff, try one of Mars’ new line of CocoaVia chocolate bars, snack bars, and chocolate covered almonds. Each has less than 150 calories and is packed with vitamins and heart-healthy antioxidants. The snack bars are already being sold in stores; the other products are due out this month.
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