Are You Getting the Right Holiday Chocolate Fix?

Holiday's are filled with caroling, decorations, shopping, family...and lots and lots of chocolate. Should you partake? The cocoa bean is actually chock-full of healthy benefits, most of them related to your heart. But the problem is, the cocoa bean gets processed to the point that the benefits usually disappear. And it in their place are plenty of saturated fats and sugars.

Posted on | Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD | Comments ()

Holiday's are filled with caroling, decorations, shopping, family...and lots and lots of chocolate. Should you partake? The cocoa bean is actually chock-full of healthy benefits, most of them related to your heart. But the problem is, the cocoa bean gets processed to the point that the benefits usually disappear. And it in their place are plenty of saturated fats and sugars.

The point is: You want to get chocolate with as much cocoa content as possible and that’s about 70%. Most chocolate bars will provide you with the percentage of cocoa right on the package so you’ll know for sure. Before indulging though, remember that even healthier 70% chocolate has plenty of calories and saturated fat – just a few ounces a week is all you’ll need to reap all the wonderful benefits. Word of warning about sugar-free chocolate bars; most are made with sugar alcohols which cause a laxative effect when ingested in large amounts. To keep your heart healthy and stay out of the bathroom, a little will go a long way!

Blog written by Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD
Kristin Kirkpatrick is a registered dietitian and Wellness Manager for Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 program. Kristin has...