Confessions of a Chocoholic
Here are my secrets for enjoying chocolate in moderation.
Relax and Have Some Chocolate!
These flavonoids in chocolate may help relax the blood vessels in part by
encouraging the body to make more nitric oxide (a substance released from the
inner lining of blood vessels that causes the vessels to relax). That's
according to research from an international team of scientists from the
University of California-Davis, Harvard University, the University of
DÃ¼sseldorf in Germany, and Masterfoods, Inc.
These researchers found that as healthy men ate flavanol-rich cocoa, the
ability of their blood vessels to relax improved significantly, which was shown
to be related to an increase in nitric oxide levels.
The health benefits of chocolate may disappear if you are just adding these
calories above and beyond your regular intake -- in which case you will most
likely be adding pounds along with the flavanols.
So your best bet is to look for lower-fat, lower-sugar recipes that call for
cocoa. We can also make sure the bite or two of chocolate some of us enjoy each
day is the darker variety.
Here's a recipe for a cocoa-rich beverage to start you off. And have a happy
chocolate (oops, I mean Valentine's) day, everyone!
Lite and Minty Hot Chocolate
Journal as: 1 cup of whatever type of milk you are using
(skim or low-fat)
3 tablespoons SPLENDA No-Calorie Sweetener
3 tablespoons cocoa (preferably Dutch processed)
2 cups low-fat 1% milk or skim milk or fat-free half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- Add Splenda and cocoa to small saucepan and blend with whisk. Gradually add
milk to cocoa mixture and whisk until blended.
- Cook over medium-low heat until thoroughly heated. Stir in the peppermint
extract and serve immediately.
Yield: 2 servings
Per serving: 120 calories, 10 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 3.7
g fat, 2.3 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 125 mg sodium.
Calories from fat: 25%.
Recipe provided by Elaine Magee; © 2006 Elaine Magee