Health Watch - Valentine's Day: 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.


Valentine’s Day is upon us, so this week on Health Watch we’ll talk about sweet things, love and other matters of the heart. A big, heart-shaped box of chocolates is a traditional Valentine’s Day gift and, believe it or not, the chocolate may not be all that bad for you.

Chocolate contains the antioxidant flavanol, which may help protect arteries from damage, maintain healthy blood flow and prevent heart disease. Dark chocolate is the best choice because it contains more flavanol than milk or white chocolate. Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the problem with chocolate candy is that the flavanol benefits are diluted by the sugar, milk and butter that are added. A better way to enjoy chocolate is in hot cocoa made with dark chocolate. A cup of dark hot chocolate is as good for your heart as a glass of red wine.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/nutrition to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.

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February 2010


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