Is chocolate healthy?
Some chocolate is healthy, and some isn't.
The health benefits derived from chocolate all come from the cocoa used to make it. Cocoa is a tropical superfood with extremely high levels of valuable nutrients, especially antioxidants.
In fact, cocoa is one of the highest known natural sources of antixiodants in the world!
Essentially, the more cocoa a chocolate contains, the better it is for you. Research has demonstrated that chocolate can have a positive biological impact when the cocoa content is 70% or higher. Always read the label so you know how much cocoa is in the chocolate you're buying.
Not all chocolates are created equal though. Some manufacturers substitute cocoa butter (the natural fat found in cocoa beans) for cheaper vegetable oils to produce compound chocolate. Good chocolate is called couverture and is made with cocoa butter.
Benefits of dark chocolate
Cocoa naturally contains copper, magnesium and potassium, which are vital for good health.
One average dark chocolate bar (70% cocoa) provides nearly 12 percent of your daily requirement for magnesium, which may be important for people at risk of several chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Made from sugar, cocoa beans and milk powder
Better, but not great
Made from cocoa beans and sugar, 70% and higher is best
Has health benefits
Made from sugar and cocoa butter (fat)