Chocolate: Good & Bad

For many people, the pleasure of eating chocolate is followed by an “after taste” of guilt.  Diets are shattered by one little candy bar, or so people believe.  Actually, while a daily habit of eating chocolate usually isn’t good for the waistline, an occasional chocolate sweet won’t force you to loosen your belt.

One ounce of chocolate has roughly 150 calories.  That’s nothing to sneeze at, but it’s hardly a belly buster.  In its unprocessed pure form, dark chocolate rivals some fruits and vegetables for their nutritional value.  It contains many vitamins, along with calcium, iron and other nutrients.  Pure unprocessed chocolate contains very little caffeine and doesn’t cause tooth decay.

The trouble with pure dark chocolate is its bitter taste.  That’s why candy makers add sugar and milk fats to it.  In doing so, calories are added that make eating chocolate undesirable in large amounts.  Of course, the sugar and milk fats also help create the great taste that chocolate lovers crave.

So what’s a “chocoholic” to do?  Unless unprocessed dark chocolate satisfies their desire, chocolate lovers must use common sense and restraint.  Eat the sweet in moderation and stay away from binging on candy, ice cream or cake.  A little chocolate now and then, combined with a dash of willpower, can take the guilt out of eating your favorite sweet.

Remember, choose to eat good quality chocolate that does not contain partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.  You can find good organic chocolates in most supermarkets today, so you don’t have to make a special trip for your sweet tooth.

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