Chocolate is one of my favourite foods, if not the one. All my life I have heard that chocolate is bad for you. As a child I was told chocolate would make my teeth rot. As a teenager, that chocolate would make my acne worse. As an adult, chocolate has turned into one of those taboo foods - everyone's doing it but not many are proud to admit it.
Chocolate has a bad reputation. It has too much sugar, too much fat, too much caffeine. But is chocolate really that bad for you? Or is this more of an urban myth? I refuse to accept that it might be all bad, so I turned to the World Wide Web for some insight.
First of all, I should mention that by chocolate I don't mean your regular Cadbury's or Mars bar. The chocolate I love is the real deal, the bitter one, the dark stuff. 70% cocoa contents and above.
After a few clicks, I'm feeling quite happy. I just found out chocolate is one of the richest foods in antioxidants. About 8 times more than strawberries. Why didn't anyone tell me this before???
”Antioxidant-rich diets have been linked to a lowered risk of heart attacks, stroke, cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer's and more. So it stands to reason that if chocolate is chock full of antioxidants, it's actually good for you."
About.com tell me that my love for bitter yumminess does my heart some real good: "Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well."
Hmmmm, I wonder how small a small bar is...
And the good news keep coming! Not only the flavonoids are on your side, not all the fat in chocolate is bad for you either; chocolate fats are composed of 3 main fat groups, two of each have no effect on your bad cholesterol levels. These friendly greases are:
• 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.
That only leaves out one bad guy, Palmitic Acid. However, this only represents 1/3 of the fat in chocolate.
That's all I need to hear (read). I shall cherish the little squares of goodness and delight every time I let one melt in my mouth.