OK, there are some caveats to the whole “chocolate is healthy” comment, but in fact it’s true.
We’re talking dark chocolate here (not milk or white), and from what I’ve read the chocolate should have a minimum of 70% cacao content, and in several readings I’ve seen this number be even higher.
Back in 2003, WebMD had an article relating to the health benefits of dark chocolate: http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate. Here’s just another example of an article highlighting dark chocolate’s benefits: http://dralexrinehart.com/nutrition-benefits/health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate/. Daily calorie intake needs to be considered, and also it’s not a license to “pig out”. Moderation is the key with any food, more so with sweets/chocolate. If you eat too much, you won’t leave room for more healthier and nutritious snacks such as fruits and vegetables.
Some of the benefits of dark chocolate I’ve run across as mentioned in these and other articles: controls blood sugar, full of antioxidants, high in vitamins & minerals (such as iron, potassium, copper, magnesium) which can help prevent cardiovascular ailments such as a stroke, helps stop food cravings, been shown to reduce stress, good for the brain….the list goes on. The key element in dark chocolate is flavonoids, but because it’s bitter, what you find on store shelves is usually processed to reduce the bitterness. For my daily snack/meal replacement shake (Shakeology), I add one tablespoon of natural unsweetened cacao powder to further accent the chocolate shake a little more. The higher the % of cacao content, the lower the amount of sugar.
Here’s a story about chocolate:http://www.thestoryofchocolate.com/index.cfm .
So this is why I always keep dark chocolate in the house. Sure I sometimes I have to fight the urge to over-indulge, but I have a small amount almost everyday to satisfy my sweet tooth, and reap the benefits dark chocolate has to offer. It’s a win-win in my book.