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Day 22:

Sweet News about Chocolate

Day 22 - Sweet News about Chocolate

Today Andrea is sharing why chocolate is healthy for you, and how including it in your diet can actually be a good thing when trying to reduce your sugar intake.

Are you treating yourself to chocolate today? Share a picture with the hashtag #BarbarasSugarReset!

~ The Barbara’s Team


We’ve all seen the headlines proclaiming how you can eat chocolate and enjoy a variety of health benefits. Research has indicated that chocolate and cocoa are potentially beneficial in preventing cardiovascular diseases, including lowering blood pressure, and has potential or actual positive effects against obesity, stress, diabetes, tumors, inflammation, and exercise recovery.[1] That’s a pretty sweet deal!

So which type of chocolate should you be reaching for when you want to treat yourself?

The answer is dark chocolate and the darker the better. Also known as bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, dark chocolate contains little or no added sugar, so it is a perfect treat when you want something sweet. In fact, one ounce of dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa) contains 7 grams of sugar and about 168 calories, while the same amount of milk chocolate provides 14 grams of sugar and 150 calories.[2]

For now, the experts agree that 10 grams of dark chocolate (one that contains at least 70 percent cocoa) per day is beneficial for your health as it contains cocoa phenols and flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants. These compounds fight disease-causing, cell-destroying molecules called free radicals. Eating dark chocolate can improve your mood by enhancing levels of serotonin and endorphins in your brain while delivering calcium, magnesium, and potassium.[3],[4]

So next time you are craving a piece of chocolate—make it dark. It has half the sugar for about the same amount of calories as milk or white chocolate…plus health benefits. What a deal! Note: Always read the label because some brands of dark chocolate contain added sugar so buy a brand that does not. 

Tip: Feeling sluggish around 3pm? Instead of reaching for a candy bar or another cup of coffee, try eating a piece of dark chocolate! Dark chocolate contains caffeine so it can help to boost your energy levels (A 1.5 ounce serving of 80% cocoa can have anywhere from 40 to 75 milligrams of caffeine.[5] In comparison an 8 ounce cup of coffee contains 145 milligrams.[6])

[1] van Wensem J. Overview of scientific evidence for chocolate health benefits. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management. 2015 Jan; 11(1): 176-77. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ieam.1594/full

[2] Self-Nutrition Data. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/10638/2

[3] http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/04/27/chocolate-and-mood-disorders/

[4] http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/food-pyramid/dark_chocolate.html

[5] http://www.livestrong.com/article/288379-does-dark-chocolate-contain-caffeine/

[6] http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/dark-chocolate-contain-caffeine-6016.html


Andrea Donsky, B. COMM, is an Author, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.), Editor-in-Chief, and Founder of NaturallySavvy.com. Her passion is to inspire people to make enlightened choices for healthy living. Andrea has combined her background and expertise as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and an entrepreneur to educate the public on living an organic and non-GMO lifestyle through the creation of her businesses, books, articles, videos, speeches, and media appearances.