Health Watch — Food Choices: Chocolate

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about making the right food choices. Sometimes it can be a challenge to figure out which foods are best – or which foods are least bad for us. Sometimes, though, there are good choices even among foods you might not normally think of as part of a healthy diet. Chocolate is a good example.

Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the right kind of chocolate may benefit your heart. Cocoa is a good source of the antioxidant flavanol, which may protect you from heart disease. Dark chocolate and cocoa powder have the highest levels of flavanol. You start to lose benefits, though, when you add things such as butter, milk and sugar to make chocolatey treats. One good way to help your heart and enjoy chocolate at the same time is to drink cocoa. Cocoa can be as beneficial as drinking red wine. Just remember to enjoy chocolate in moderation.   


March 2007

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