Chocaholics rejoice! There IS chocolate that it is actually good for you. But beware this benefit does not apply to the commonly consumed chocolate! But the good news is that this type of chocolate tastes divine…
Many of us are consider opting for various diet products and artificial sweeteners thinking that they are a healthier alternative for a snack or treat. It definitely is beneficial to reduce the amount of processed sugar in your diet; however concern is mounting over the side effects from these artificial sweeteners. They may be doing you more harm than good.
Also known as Nutra-Sweet or Equal, aspartame is by far the most popular of all sweeteners and is regarded by many as the most dangerous of additives. Loss of energy, mood swings, memory loss and many other serious side effects have been associated to consumption of aspartame.
Studies have also shown that artificial sweeteners cause you to actually eat more. This defeats the entire purpose of wanting to consume diet products. Artificial sweeteners inhibit the production of serotonin in your brain that gives you the sense of feeling full. So artificial sweeteners actually inhibit your own capacity to feel full making it easier for you to overeat.
Before you get too despondent , all is not lost….
There is a natural, sugar-free herb that you can use called stevia. Stevia has been used as a sweetener in South America for hundreds of years and is available at most health food stores. Another thing that can help satisfy the sweet tooth is DARK BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE.
This type of chocolate can actually be quite good for you. Dark bittersweet chocolate is actually full of flavonoids. Flavonoids are vital for strengthening cell membranes and protecting collagen making chocolate great for your skin. Also flavonoids protect blood vessels and help with circulation. In addition flavonoids help to raise levels of glutathione which is an important antioxidant that helps to reduce inflammation.
The best way of having a high level of flavonoids in your diet is through consumption of a large amount of fruits and vegetables but it is nice to know that a few pieces of dark bittersweet chocolate can help also.
Unfortunately all chocolate is not the same when it comes to being healthy for you. Milk chocolate is the most common chocolate and is full of refined sugar destined to create deposits of fat around your stomach and thighs and leave your skin full of blemishes. Milk chocolate also sends your blood sugar levels through the roof whereas organic dark chocolate doesn’t raise your blood sugar to such levels.
Look for organic dark chocolate with 70 % cocoa and make sure that it is not full of any of the abovementioned sweeteners. It costs about double the price of normal milk chocolate but it is many times better for you than milk chocolate and tastes so much nicer. Dark chocolate is now available in supermarkets but for sheer decadence and richness in taste you just have to go to your local organic food store and where you can select amazing chunks of organic dark chocolate from their self-serve containers.
Dark bittersweet chocolate is high in saturated fat which means that you shouldn’t eat too much of it but I think that the biggest health benefit of organic dark chocolate is that you can indulge yourself in something delightful without feeling guilty.