Before I get to today’s post I would like to apologize for not posting on Monday. I was having a long discussion with Bip, my bipolar dragon. We have come to an agreement that seems to be more acceptable to me. I will play on the Wii more, play with my exercise ball and go for a walk. I will also feed her better chocolate. In exchange Bip will stop giving me panic attacks and let me sleep at night.
Now for the chocolate . . . .
I am a 4th generation chocoholic with a penchant for dark German and Swiss chocolates. It is an addiction that I have no desire to get rid of. I have sampled chocolates from all over and would like to share some tips on significantly lowering your chocolate calories.
It is what you put the chocolate in or on that has the calories.
Now just think about this for a minute. What do we eat our chocolate with? I like mine with additives like cake, frosting, nugget, cream filling, nuts, caramel, cookies, ice cream, and other such goodies. Where are most of the calories? In the additives. Conclusion: Just eat the chocolate.
Dark Chocolate is Good For You
Scientific studies have shown that dark chocolate has many health benefits. It is good for your heart, brain, eyes and emotional stamina. Why? Probably because it is more chocolate than additives. There is less sugar and milk solids also. I like the 60% or more cocoa bars myself. One or two squares eaten slowly will really satisfy that craving.
Why Does Good Chocolate Melt Faster
Because there are fewer bad things in it. paraffin wax and other emulsifiers keep chocolate from melting too fast, but they also impact the flavor and benefits of chocolate. Most high quality chocolates use very little if any of these ingredients so they tend to melt faster. They also taste better and are better for you.
Frozen Chocolate Lasts Longer
For those of us who have favorite candy bars like Snickers, Milky Way, Hershey’s, etc. the freezer is your best friend. I like to buy the miniatures and bite size chocolates and then put them in the freezer. A bag of your families most hated frozen vegetable works best to hide your chocolate from those who would eat it. When you are seized by those overwhelming cravings you can take one or two chocolates out of the freezer. The only rule is that you cannot bite or chew it. You must let it melt in your mouth of its own accord. Because it is frozen it can last up to 20 minutes giving you the pleasure without eating a lot.
It is not a vegetable, a fruit or a legume. It is a seed like sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. It falls under Nuts, Seeds and Legumes in the CDC’s food pyramid. Since it can be classified within a specific food group it should be part of our diet.
The Power of the Cacao Bean
This wonderful seed is considered a Super Food. Consider the following benefits:
- Cacao has the highest concentration of antioxidants such as polyphenols, catechins and epicatechins among any other food in the world – more than blueberries, goji berries, pomegranates, acai, and red wine combined! Antioxidants are the tiny warriors that protect our cells from damaging diseases and aging.
- The cacao bean may very well be the number one highest source of Magnesium as well. Magnesium is good for the heart, improves blood flow, enhances brain function, helps prevent constipation, and even relieves menstrual cramps.
- Cacao beans contain 314% of the U.S. RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of Iron per 1 oz. (28 grams) serving making it a strong defense in the battle of anemia.
- Cacao contains enough Chromium to replenish those deficient in this important trace mineral. Believe it or not, nearly 80% of Americans are deficient in Chromium which helps to balance blood sugar.
- Manganese is yet another trace mineral found abundant in cacao. Manganese works hard helping Iron oxygenate the blood and assists with the formation of hemoglobin.
- Cacao is an excellent source of Zinc, as well, which plays an important role in keeping our immune system strong, liver functioning well, along with a healthy pancreas, sexual fluids, and skin. Zinc takes part in many enzymatic reactions throughout the entire body too.
- Raw cacao is a great source of Vitamin C.
- The fiber in cacao works well to keep the digestive track running and clean.
- Raw cacao contains essential omega 6 fatty acids, also, but once cooked or made into chocolate, those essential fatty acids become rancid (trans fats) = unhealthy for you.
- Cacao beans contain “feel good” compounds can that trigger a euphoric feeling when eaten improving mood greatly
Okay, so it is obvious that I will find any reason why I should eat chocolate. But then I am an addict after all.