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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Calling All Chocolate Lovers

Chocolate squareFor those of you who know me, I am a CHOCOLATE LOVER! A day does not go by without me eating chocolate at one point or another.  One of the many lessons I’ve learned throughout the years is that a little goes a long way!

Dark chocolate offers many health benefits and its rich, deep flavor will leave you feeling satisfied in just a few bites. Dark chocolate is a rich source of flavonoids, compounds that act as antioxidants in the body, which help prevent aging caused by free radicals. 

As if you need them, here are some other reasons to occasionally indulge in dark chocolate:

Heart Healthy

Eating a small amount of dark chocolate everyday may help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease.  Do you even need to read any further?

Mood Booster

Don’t feel guilty about relaxing with dark chocolate! It stimulates the production of endorphins, which make you feel good! Dark chocolate also boosts serotonin, your body’s natural anti-depressant.  No wonder you feel better after eating it--it literally makes you feel happy!!!

Post-Workout Recovery 

Low fat chocolate milk is a great option to help refuel after a workout. It contains an ideal mix of carbohydrates, electrolytes and protein to help your muscles repair and recharge.

Be Choosy

Indulge in quality chocolate. To get the most health benefits, look for at least 70% cocoa content and skip sugary add-ins, like caramel. Stick to a 1 oz. portion and balance the calories by cutting back on other sweets.

Chocolate Cuisine

Chocolate doesn’t always have to be used for dessert! Try adding cocoa powder or unsweetened chocolate to chili or mole sauce to flavor chili or steaks or in morning oatmeal for a decadent start to your day.

Of the many different kinds of chocolate readily available, dark chocolate is guilt-free in moderation and offers the most health benefits.  Next time you are craving chocolate, give in and indulge in a rich square of high-quality dark chocolate for that melt-in-your mouth sensation!

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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