It’s Valentines week and it got me thinking about a popular Valentines treat that you’ve probably been out shopping for recently, chocolate and I wanted to speak more
specifically about the difference between dark chocolate vs. milk chocolate.
You’ve probably heard that dark chocolate is healthy for you. The health benefits are well documented as follows:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL)
- Raises good choesterol (HDL)
- High antioxidant capacity that lasts up to 6 hours
- Dark chocolate contains 5x the flavanols and 3x the antioxidant capacity as milk chocolate
- White chocolate has shown none of the heart healthy effects that dark chocolate has
- Dark chocolate must be 65% cacao or higher for maximum heart healthy benefits.
Based on the above health benefits of dark chocolate, it does a lot of good things for our body and has a lot of nutrition in it.
But, what do we really mean when we talk about dark chocolate. Here’s something to be aware of. The research shows us that you only get these special benefits if you look for 65% cacao or above.
I recently went to the store to look at chocolate, and I looked through 3 aisles of Valentines candy and I could not find any chocolate that had the percentage of cacao listed. So if you don’t see it listed, it is safe to assume that it is less than 65% cacao.
Then I went over to the aisle with the regular candy in it, and there is where I found the Ghirardelli brand “Intense Dark” 86% Cacao bag of chocolate.
That is what you want, 65% cacao or above. It will be a lot more bitter than what you are used to, however, that is where you get the nutritional value of the dark chocolate.
The other thing you want to be cautious of is you don’t want to think that just because it has a lot of healthy benefits, you can eat as much as you want. 1 square of the Ghirardelli 85% Dark Chocolate has 65 calories. So if you eat 3 or 4 of those in a sitting, then it becomes a high calorie item.
Happy Valentines and Enjoy!