- Published on December 1, 2010
- Written by Nina Luttinger
a fun little blog posted on Self Magazine’s website yesterday….
just in case you have the slightest hesitation about eating chocolate this holiday season….
10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Chocolate — Every Day
Monday, December 13, 2010 at 4:01 PM
| posted by Jenny Everett
As we mentioned last week, we refuse to diet in December. It’s just not realistic, and anyone who thinks it is has freakishly good willpower!
That said, we don’t want to blow any progress we’ve been making in our health and fitness goals. So, we set out to find out which sweet temptations we can guiltlessly dig into (in moderation, of course) this holiday season. The answer, not surprisingly, was dark chocolate.
What was surprising, however, was just how keen on it nutrition gurus are. They say it shouldn’t just been a holiday indulgence, it should be a regular indulgence. In fact, registered dietician Cynthia Sass, author of Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches (which hits shelves in January) insists that her clients eat dark chocolate on a daily basis.
1. Compared to milk chocolate eaters, those who down dark chocolate eat 15 percent fewer calories, and report feeling fewer cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.
2. Dark chocolate contains a unique natural substance that creates a sense of euphoria (yes, please!). When you’re satisfied and happy, you’re less likely to binge.
3. Dark chocolate contains magnesium, a mineral that can help alleviate PMS symptoms, including cramps, water retention, fatigue, depression and irritability.
4. Dark chocolate contains the same type of antioxidants found in red wine and tea, which have been shown to boost brain activity.
5. Dark chocolate has been shown to correct imbalances in the body related to stress and can significantly reduce levels of stress hormones.
6. Dark chocolate has the perfect caffeine kick. One ounce of 70 percent dark chocolate contains about 40 mg of caffeine, compared to 200 mg in 8 ounces of brewed coffee and 120 mg in strong black tea.
7. The antioxidants in cocoa trigger the walls of your blood vessels to relax, lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. This means better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to every cell.
8. Chocolate’s protective natural substances also help prevent cholesterol from sticking to your artery walls, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
9. Heart attack survivors who ate chocolate just twice a week over a two-year period cut their risk of dying from heart disease threefold.
10. The type of saturated fat in dark chocolate isn’t the same as the artery-clogging saturated fat in a hamburger or whole milk. It’s a unique variety called stearic acid, much of which gets converted in the body to oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid.
OK, OK. You talked us into it! We’ll eat chocolate!
The key, of course, is to eat it in moderation. So keep portion sizes reasonable and try to stick to dark chocolate with at least 65 percent cocoa.