By Diana Breault
DHAC Weight Loss Motivator
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you’re probably wondering what you should get your sweetie. The most prominent gift on display? Chocolate. Including the oh-so-famous heart-shaped box of chocolates. These boxes can range anywhere from 4 to 200,000 pieces. The world record holds 220,052 pieces of chocolate in ONE box.
This may be tempting for someone who is watching their weight and has quite the sweet tooth. So… who’s up for the temptation challenge?
I don’t want to surprise you, but chocolate is not an unhealthy food if you eat it in moderation. Depending on the type of chocolate, you may be consuming more nutrients than you thought. The less processed the cocoa, the more health benefits there are.
Dark chocolate is known for its moderate levels of antioxidants and its somewhat bitter taste. On the other hand, white and milk chocolate are more processed and may include more sugar and fat. Milk chocolate may taste better to some, but that extra fat will go right to your thighs.
Wait a minute….I’ve heard a lot about these antioxidant things and how they may be helpful to my diet, but what are they really?
Antioxidants are substances that help our bodies defend themselves from damage caused by free radicals, which are formed from environmental contaminants, such as air pollution and environmental toxins. Free radicals are also partially responsible for aging, tissue damage, and even some diseases. Other foods that contain high levels of antioxidants include blueberries, apples, and green tea.
As I was saying, that heart-shaped piece of dark chocolate is sometimes filled with some sort of caramel or marshmallow. If so, that once good-looking piece of chocolate takes a sharp turn towards the unhealthy side. Those extra ingredients add more fat and calories.
Like with any other food, chocolate is delicious in moderation, so allow yourself a little treat and eat an ounce. If you think you might eat all of the chocolates in one sitting, tell your love you’d rather have that big, fluffy teddy bear. After all, you already have a sweetie!