How to eat chocolate and not feel guilty!


chocolate web

 

Chocolate. I love it, love it, love it!

If you’ve been avoiding it for fear of all the calories, read on…. I could just become your new BFF today!

It’s comforting, creamy, delicious and I eat it every day!

Which begs the question…

Is chocolate good for you?

The answer is both yes and no.

It has an array of nutritious content – fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc & selenium. For this reason chocolate has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, sexual malaise, fatigue, hangovers, anaemia, depression, memory loss, high blood pressure, poor eyesight, and more. It also helps release that feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin, in the brain.

But eat the wrong kind and you’ll get loads of sugar, empty calories, and other junk ingredients.

How to eat it responsibly

Chocolate begins life as raw cacao (pronounced kah-kow) beans. Loaded with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and plant phenols, cacao is a powerful superfood. The more processed cacao becomes, however, think commercially produced chocolate bars, the fewer healthy components remain.

How to get the most out of your chocolate fix

Don’t be afraid of the dark. The darker the chocolate, the more beneficial cacao it contains.

  • Know your percentages: the number on dark chocolate packaging refers to the percentage of cacao bean in chocolate. For maximum health benefit, look for dark chocolate that has 75% to 85% cacao.
  • Go raw, organic, or as unprocessed as possible.
  • Avoid processed bars such as Mars, Twix, Lion Bar and so on.
  • Get into the habit of looking at the ingredients and the cacao or cocoa content. A high content is usually highlighted on the front of the packet. If it isn’t promoted it’s probably because it’s low.
  • Don’t assume all dark is good. It’s a common misconception that all dark chocolate is good, but there are plenty with low cacao content.
  • Eat in moderation. One to three chunks per day should be enough to satisfy your desire, especially if the alternative is reaching for a biscuit or cakes!
  • Like I said, I love chocolate and I don’t feel guilty eating it. I love to eat either a couple of simple chunks of 85% chocolate or I use the chocolate to make these delicious indulgences pictured below. The printable recipes can be found here: Chocolate Caramel SlicesNutty Protein Punch

     

    I’d love to hear from you. Do you feel guilty eating chocolate? What chocolate do you enjoy? Has this made you think about paying closer attention? Have I become your new BFF ‘cos I’ve given your permission to indulge without guilt?

    I’d love to see your photos on my Facebook page if you recreate the recipes above or have any of your own to share. All hail the cacao bean!