Monday, February 28, 2011

Heart Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate!

Ok, I do realize that I can not say that a Gabbie's Goodies Bon bon is actually good for you since it is technically considered a sweet treat. BUT, most of them are dipped in dark or bittersweet chocolate. Also, other ingredients are good for you like almond butter (more to come about that another time). So they taste fabulous & they are sort of good for you too!
As a woman that adores chocolate this is great news. Evidently this love of chocolate passes down genetically as well since my children are in love too.

Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:
  • Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
  • Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
Chocolate also holds benefits apart from protecting your heart:
  • it tastes good
  • it stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
  • it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
  • it contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants
Doesn't Chocolate Have a lot of Fat?:
Here is some more good news -- some of the fats in chocolate do not impact your cholesterol. The fats in chocolate are 1/3 oleic acid, 1/3 stearic acid and 1/3 palmitic acid:
  • Oleic Acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat that is also found in olive oil.
  • Stearic Acid is a saturated fat but one which research is shows has a neutral effect on cholesterol.
  • Palmitic Acid is also a saturated fat, one which raises cholesterol and heart disease risk.
That means only 1/3 of the fat in dark chocolate is bad for you. HURRAY!!

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