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Valentine’s Day

Chocolate: Match Maker or Heart Breaker?

Milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate … so many choices, what to do? As you head to the dining hall on February 14th for Chocolate Fantasy Night, you might be wondering: Should I avoid chocolate completely or is it possible to indulge without compromising my health?  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 Maker

When choosing between the different types of chocolate, dark may be the way to go due to its suggested health benefits. Dark chocolate may be your perfect match this Valentine’s Day when 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 better alternatives to solid pieces of chocolate or higher fat and calorie desserts.

Heart Breaker

White chocolate may appear innocent, but this imposter actually contains no cocoa! White chocolate contains large amounts of milk and sugar without any of the heart healthy cocoa bean in which dark and milk chocolate are made from. 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

Author: Morgan Blonder                                                          Reviewed By:  Mrs. Harriet Worobey, Dept. of Nutritional Sciences

References: Chocolate and Your Health – Guilty Pleasure or Terrific Treat? Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/ healthbeat/HEALTHbeat_030309.htm. Accessed on: January 26th, 2013. On Valentine’s Day. A Gift From the Heart That Helps the Heart. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=1443&terms=chocolate #.UQa4yR2Zn6Q. Accessed on: January 26th, 2013. 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 27th, 2013. Smaller Snacking is Smarter Snacking. Available at: http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/outreach/smallsnack.html. Accessed on: February 1st, 2013.

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