From discovering a low calorie recipe blog in “Skinny Tasting… Literally!” to re-living my first workout with my trainer in “An Hour with Joel,” those of you who have been keeping up with my blog posts know that I’m all about eating right, exercising regularly and, well, just staying thin. It may come as a surprise to hear that I recently committed to eating one piece of dark chocolate every day for two weeks to see what all this ‘healthy dark chocolate’ talk is all about.
Before beginning this fun, tasty experiment, I did some quick research online to see what the potential health benefits are from dark chocolate. In short, all my research pointed to one thing… dark chocolate in small doses is good for you! Here are my top 5 researched and non-researched benefits from eating dark chocolate:
- Helps reduce cholesterol levels
- It’s social – everyone wants a piece of chocolate!
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases “pleasure” and improves overall mood
- It tastes good! Duh.
I cannot medically speak to my cholesterol levels or blood pressure, but I can confidently say that I experienced a nice boost of energy and improved mood after indulging in a piece (one square) of Lindt Roasted Almond Dark Chocolate or Lindt Intense Mint Dark Chocolate each afternoon. (By “indulge,” I mean I ate the entire piece of dark chocolate in one bite as if I had never had chocolate before.) I also shared the chocolate with my colleagues each day, which became a great social moment of the day bringing everyone smiles and laughs. That in itself is a healthy addition to any day!
While I thoroughly enjoyed this little experiment, I’m not sure a piece of chocolate (or any form of sugar!) is an ideal addition, no matter how small, to any pre-summer diet with nearly 50 calories in each square. In the end… I think I’ll stick to Trident White Sugarfree gum with only 4 calories in each piece until at least September.
Fun Fact about Chocolate: the Latin name for the cacao tree (where chocolate is derived from), Theobroma cacao, actually means “food of the gods.” Who would have thought?