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Chocolate – Is It Really Good For Us?

Discovering the Health Benefits of a Favorite Sweet

When my family and I first embarked on our sugar-freeing journey a few weeks ago, we thought we were kissing all goodies goodbye.  Most “junk food” sweets contain over 20 grams of sugar per serving, and since our new daily quota is 15 grams of sugar, we can no longer dabble in the confections of our former sugar-filled days.  How relieved we were to find that we can still have chocolate, and some baked goodies, without the guilt and shame of “cheating” ourselves.

After some passionate research, we found that dark chocolate is not only permissive in our new restrictive lifestyle, but also good for us in many ways.  So we have been happily experimenting with different brands and percentages of chocolate bars to bring you the latest Blanco family findings in the best chocolate on a low-sugar diet.

Our personal favorites so far are:

Juan (Daddy) – Lindt Excellence Smooth Dark 85% Cocoa – 5g sugar per serving (four squares)

Bess (Mom) – Lindt Excellence 70% Smooth Dark Cocoa – 12g sugar per serving (four squares)

Kids – All brands, all percentages!  Except for GiGi and Sophie, who find the 85% cocoa too bitter.

We usually only eat about 1-2 squares, since they are so rich, and each square is 1 ½ inches – it’s plenty to satisfy the craving.  We also really enjoy Cote D’ Or and Godiva brand 70% dark chocolate.

All of these chocolates are rich in flavanoids, which act as antioxidants and work to lower blood pressure and cholesterol in the body.  Did you know that dark chocolate contains eight times the antioxidants found in strawberries?  All the more reason to have chocolate-covered strawberries as a treat now!  Chocolate also stimulates our endorphin production, making us feel pleasure (duh, right?!) and contains serotonin, which is our built-in anti-depressant.

It is safe to have a small amount everyday, as dark chocolate is made from plants and is a natural product.  As with anything else, remember to use moderation, and small servings is the key.  Be careful to read the labels, make sure it is the low sugar, natural type of chocolate you are purchasing.  Too many good reasons to abstain from that piece of deliciousness any longer – go ahead, have a chocolate today!

What about you?  What are your favorite dark chocolate treats?

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