Healthy Dark Chocolate

Written by Robert Mac
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Healthy dark chocolate sounds too good to be true, but there is a lot of data that points in that direction. Not only are there are components of chocolate that are healthy--such as flavonoids that fight free radicals--but there are ways to make dark chocolate less unhealthy. I'm sure in the future there will be vitamin enriched chocolates that will be required for every meal; for now, we can only pray.

What makes healthy dark chocolate so healthy in the first place? Polyphenols, for one thing; they are a group of chemical substances known for their antioxidant properties. A subgroup of polyphenols is flavonoids: they also fight the effects of free radicals and help the body prevent blood platelet coagulation, too.

Making Healthy Dark Chocolate

There are ways to make healthy dark chocolate, or at least ways to make it healthier than cheaper varieties. Low end chocolates might look appealing to your checkbook, but they usually contain cheaper ingredients and fillers that are unhealthier than all natural chocolates. A quick look at the list of ingredients will give you an idea of who's cutting corners and who isn't.

For example, cheaper dark chocolates use processed vegetable oils instead of the natural cacao fat, called cocoa butter. Not only is it not as natural as cocoa butter, it's hydrogenated and filled with preservatives. If you want a dark chocolate in its healthiest state, get one without additives and with at least 30 percent of its weight from cocoa; this is a sign that it hasn't been filled with low quality ingredients.

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