There has been much in the media for years about the health benefits of dark chocolate. But is it really that good for you?
Let’s start at the beginning. The key ingredient which provides the health benefits in dark chocolate is cacao, which contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage. Studies show that the cacao in dark chocolate can significantly reduce the inflammation that leads to cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately cacao on its own is bitter and chalky. In order to make it more palatable, sugar and fats are added, which essentially counteract the potential benefits of the cacao. While looking at the evidence supporting the consumption of cacao, it is important to remember the majority of the studies and publicity supporting the health benefits of chocolate have focused on cocoa extracts, not chocolate.
While there may be potential health benefits of having a small serve of chocolate that’s at least 70% cacao, more isn’t better. Increasing your intake of chocolate will add more of those added nasties that you’ve been trying to limit. So if you are going to have dark chocolate, limit your intake to 20g.