How to Be A Chocolate Snob

Who can resist that rich, divine, melt-in-your-mouth goodness that only chocolate can provide?  It’s undeniable that chocolate is divine, but not all chocolate is created equal and it’s important to sort through the maze of chocolate options to find options that are both delicious and loaded with health benefits.

Chocolate contains powerful antioxidants and flavanoids, protective plant nutrients, that some studies have shown provide anti-carcinogenic and cardiovascular benefits such as:

  • quenching free radicals
  • decreasing LDL “bad” cholesterol and raising HDL “good” cholesterol
  • relaxing blood vessels
  • reducing the tendency for clot formation

And, if that isn’t enough reason to enjoy chocolate now and then, a Harvard public health study suggested that eating chocolate regularly in moderation may even add years to your life!  This healthy habit added nearly a year to mens lives, after accounting for all other diet and lifestyle factors.

These health benefits are more potent the higher the cocao content, that is, the darker the chocolate.  When searching for your favorite varieties, consider this:

  • Look for at least 70% dark chocolate.  I, personally, enjoy 85% -95% dark chocolate the most!
  • Be a food detective and look at the other ingredients in the chocolate.  The types of sweeteners used, as well as the use of dairy, or soy-based emulsifiers will vary by brand.  I like brands that use unrefined cane sugar, stevia, or xylitol and I prefer chocolates with a higher cocoa butter content over those that use soy lecithin as an emulsifier.
  • Organic chocolate will be free of toxic pesticides and other additives and will be non-genetically modified.
  • Raw chocolate is not processed with heat, and so it retains more nutrients – vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Splurge and be a chocolate snob!  It’s better to indulge in luxurious chocolate every one in a while, then eat the drugstore varieties.
  • A number of chocolate makers are committed to social and environmental responsibility.  If this is important to you, look for Fair Trade and other ethical practices.

While you can source high quality chocolates, it’s fun to experiment with new chocolate recipes at home.  Check out this Raw Chocolate Mousse recipe – it’s delicious, low in sugar, and high in healthy fats!

Speak Your Mind

Password Reset

Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.