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Yes, There Is Room for Chocolate in Your Diet

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 30, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Dark chocolate is soothing and satisfying, and it may have health benefits, including some for heart health. But can it fit into a weight-loss diet?

Yes … if you control portions.

Unsweetened cocoa -- the cacao bean product with tons of healthy flavonoids -- has only about 12 calories per tablespoon. It makes for a very low-calorie hot chocolate or chocolate milk when blended with fat-free milk and artificial sweetener.

Adding some pure cocoa to yogurt is also a great way to make your own chocolatey treat, with far fewer calories than dairy-aisle products, which can have as many as a candy bar. Just sprinkle it over the yogurt and use a spatula to fold it in.

Cocoa can also be the flavoring in a homemade gelato, the milk-based Italian frozen dessert that's lower in fat than ice cream. Experiment with recipes to limit the amount of sugar without sacrificing taste.

There are dozens of cocoa brands to choose, many from leading chocolate companies. Just read the labels carefully to be sure there's no added sugar.

If you love the richness of chocolate, dark or bittersweet varieties are considered better for you than semi-sweet because of their higher percentages of cocoa solids and flavonoids. Look for products with "70 percent cocoa" or higher.

Chocolate has an average of 150 calories per ounce (even with less sugar, these blends still have naturally occurring fat). Measure out one ounce per day to savor.

You can also cut calories by about a third by choosing chocolate sweetened with stevia, available in bars as well as chips for baking.

More information

Learn more about the benefits of flavonoids at the Linus Pauling Institute.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=735102

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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