Loco For Cocoa

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Clint Heinze--Chocolate is no longer seen as a guilty pleasure.

For centuries, chocolate was one of the most delicious treats in the world. However, it has been challenging to determine whether such a treat is beneficial or detrimental to our health because some studies state that it is good while other reports say otherwise.

The truth “chocolate can be good in moderation.

Out of all the different types of chocolate, dark chocolate is the healthiest. Unlike milk and white chocolate, dark chocolate is lower in calories and the antioxidants are not lost like processed chocolates.
Researchers such as the Cleveland Clinic state that eating about two ounces of dark chocolate can help reduce the risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.

According to thehersheycompany.com, dark chocolate and cocoa contain cell-protecting flavanol antioxidant compounds. Flavanol promotes good cardiovascular health such as enhanced blood flow and healthy cholesterol levels.

Milk chocolate on the other hand can cause weight gain since it is higher in calories from the milk and sugar content. Treats like chocolate cakes, brownies or candy bars with nuts, nougat, caramel or marshmallows are by no means a way to achieve these benefits.

Many people choose to eat chocolate because it produces feelings of relaxation, alertness, happiness and energy all at the same time.

“I love chocolate. I think it is delicious,” Amanda Gruntz, a senior, said. “It’s my comfort food. It brings my spirits up on a bad day.”

However, chocolate can only contribute to health to a certain extent. In reality, the benefits of chocolate are minimal.

According to Daniel Skubik, professor of law, ethics and humanities, the benefits are so miniscule that eating large amounts of chocolate will do more harm than good.

A good rule of thumb is to limit your daily intake to less than two ounces. If you prefer fine chocolate, such as Godiva, which contains 40 percent to 65 percent cocoa compounds, you should eat no more than six ounces a day. The reason being healthier chocolate contains fewer fats.

“Like the phenols in red wine, which is conducive for healthy hearts, a square of chocolate may have the same impact but it’s unlikely to have any real benefits,” Skubik said.

The chemical compounds in chocolate are designed to make the consumer crave more. By doing this the consumer will feel the pinch at the waistline as well as the wallet.

Even though chocolate is delicious and produces a relaxing effect, you should never overindulge yourself with this treat to reap the healthy benefits.