Is Chocolate Really Good For You?

From chocolate milk to chocolate truffles and deep, rich dark chocolate bars, it's hard to go through a home, office or grocery store without bumping into something that boasts this flavor. Some people steer clear of all varieties; falsely believing that chocolate is bad for them. The facts don't necessarily support this notion, however. The truth of the matter is that chocolate can actually be good for your health.

While this it is hard to accept that something that actually tastes quite good is considered healthful in some arenas, it's perfectly true. A look at the vitamins and minerals found within an ounce of plain baking chocolate or cocoa can bear this out. For example, an ounce of chocolate has about 10 percent of the U.S. daily recommended requirement of iron. A single ounce also has a variety of vitamins contained within, as well. Those who read labels will find vitamins A1, B1, B2, C, D and E all within chocolate. Talk about alphabet soup! And, if that isn't enough to convince, chocolate also contains calcium and potassium.

While it's quite true not all chocolate is cracked up the same, the reality is this food is not as bad for one's health as many would be led to believe. Some of the finer, gourmet chocolates that include all-natural ingredients, low sugar content and no preservatives are good illustrations of chocolates that are reasonably good for one's health. Dark chocolate is considered a very good source of antioxidants. Although many people prefer not to eat dark chocolate because of its bolder, often more bitter taste, this variety can help fight off some forms of cancer, heart disease and a host of other ailments thanks to its antioxidant properties. Plus when low-fat, low-sugar dark chocolate is consumed, the perceived negatives of chocolate virtually disappear.

Though it's true some chocolates are high in fat, finer chocolates don't even impact cholesterol levels all that much. Chocolate that relies on natural cocoa butter for its fat content seems to have a rather neutral effect on overall cholesterol levels. When the flavor of chocolate creations comes from the chocolate liquor rather than a ton of sugar and highly processed ingredients, the overall calorie content isn't generally that high either.

Some believe that chocolate in any form is bad for one's health. The reality is that this sweet treat can be part of a rather well-balanced, healthful diet.

Although it's never a good idea to go crazy over one type of food, chocolate can actually be a healthy part of a diet. When common sense and the right varieties are selected, chocolate can boost health while delighting the taste buds.

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