Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Food & Recipes

Font Size
A
A
A

Chocolate -- and Your Health

continued...

Q: Is there much difference between chocolate bar brands?
A:
The principal ingredient of commercial chocolate bars and candy is not cocoa, but sugar, along with saturated vegetable fat and powdered milk. This has gained chocolate a reputation as fattening, tooth-decaying junk food. However, true chocolate -- manufactured from natural ingredients -- is far healthier and contains higher percentages of cocoa solids and lower percentages of sugar.

Q: Are there any health benefits associated with eating chocolate besides enjoying the taste or satisfying a craving?
A:
A University of California, Davis, researcher has spent several years studying the possible health benefits of certain antioxidants found in chocolate. These antioxidants --phenolic compounds, also known as flavonoids -- are the same compounds found in red wine that give it antioxidant properties. Phenolics can help protect against or slow heart disease by preventing fat-like substances (LDL, or low-density lipoproteins) in the bloodstream from oxidizing and forming plaque that can eventually block arteries. Although chocolate also contains the saturated fatty acid called stearic acid, it has been shown in scientific studies to have a neutral effect on blood cholesterol. One study conducted at Pennsylvania State University with healthy, young, adult male students showed that eating one standard-sized milk chocolate bar a day did not affect blood cholesterol.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
 
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.
 

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.



bread
Recipes
soup
Recipes
 
roasted chicken
Recipes
Flaxseed added fiber
Video
 
vegetarian sandwich
Recipes
fresh vegetables
Recipes
 
smoothie
fitArticle
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow
Slideshow