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Chocolate: Match Maker or Heart Breaker?

chocMilk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate … so many choices, what to do? As you head to the dining hall on February 13th for Chocolate Fantasy Night, you may be wondering: Should I avoid chocolate completely or is it possible to indulge without compromising my healthy eating pattern?  The secret to chocolate is indulging in moderation. Recent research has shown that a small amount of chocolate is just as satisfying as a larger portion, so keep these suggestions in mind as you approach chocolate this Valentine’s Day.

Match Makerheart

When choosing between the different types of chocolate, dark is the way to go due to its suggested health benefits from antioxidants. Dark chocolate may be your perfect match this Valentine’s Day drizzled on fruit such as strawberries and pineapples. Small portions of hot cocoa, chocolate frozen yogurt, or bite sized chocolate pieces filled with peppermint, nuts, or fruit paste may also serve as lighter alternatives to solid pieces of chocolate.

Heart Breaker

White chocolate may appear innocent, but this imposter is a blend of cocoa butter and sugar, which often leads to higher levels saturated fat. This derivative of chocolate, unlike dark and milk, does not contain enough cocoa to provide heart healthy benefits. Regardless of its color, however, chocolate is still calorie dense, so always remember to consume in moderation.

Moderation is key for your love/hate relationship with chocolate!

 

Reviewed by: Alexa Essenfeld
 Reviewed By:  Mrs. Harriet Worobey, Dept. of Nutritional Sciences
References: When it Comes to Chocolate, Choose Dark. Available at: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/nutriti on/nutrition/dietary_guide/hgic4090.html. Accessed on: January 11th, 2014.
Smaller Snacking is Smarter Snacking. Available at: http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/outreach/smallsnack.html. Accessed on: January 11th, 2014.
Questions? Post on our Facebook (RU Healthy Dining Team) or Twitter (@RUHDT) or e-mail us at peggyp@dining.edu. Our mission is to educate students about nutrition and encourage them to make healthier food and lifestyle choices. For more info, nutrient analysis and past newsletters, visit our web page at http://food.rutgers.edu or visit our blog at https://ruhdt.wordpress.com

 

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