Get the Skinny on Dark Chocolate’s Health Benefits, plus 5 Guilt-Free Chocolate Finds

February 11, 2015 | Updated: 11:58 a.m., February 11, 2015

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Who doesn’t love hearing that chocolate is good for us, especially with Valentine’s Day right around the corner? But don’t run out for that giant heart-shaped box of chocolates just yet.   Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on 5 proven health benefits of chocolate – plus what to look for on labels to be sure you’re really getting these benefits, not a hefty dose of sugar!

 

 

5 proven benefits of dark chocolate:

  • Improved blood pressure
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Enhanced brain function
  • Lower stress levels

 

 

What to look for:

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  • Products containing at least 70% cocoa
  • Cocoa is one of top sources of antioxidant-rich flavonols – but the more processed the cocoa, the lower the flavonol content

 

 

 

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­5 Dark Chocolate Finds (Each of the following servings has ~200-250 mg flavonols):

 

  • Chocolate bar made with at least 70% cocoa (2 ounces: 300 calories & 35 grams sugar)

Tip: Look for dark chocolate with “cocoa” or “cocoa liquor” as the first ingredient listed, not sugar

 

 

  • Unsweetened bakers chocolate (1/2 ounce: 70 calories & 0 sugar)

 

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RECIPE: Chocolate-Dipped Fruit Fondue: Melt one unsweetened bakers chocolate bar + one tablespoon Swerve Sugar Replacer in a mini slow cooker. Dip with fresh fruit (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) and serve.

 

 

  • Cacao nibs (1 ounce: 130 calories, 0 sugar, 9 grams fiber)

 

 

  • Cocoa powder (2 tbsp: 20 calories & 0 sugar)

 

 

  • CocoaVia (1 packet: 25-30 calories, 0 added sugar)

CocoaVia, with 250 mg of flavonols per serving. CocoaVia is available in capsule form or as a chocolate-flavored powder in stick packs that can be added to coffee, milk, or smoothies.