Thursday, April 12, 2007

Health by Chocolate

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Okay, I know this post isn't clearly fashion-related, but think of it this way...a healthy body always makes clothes look better.

Did you know that there is chocolate specifically designed for better health? I know it sounds too good to be true, at least for avid chocolate-lovers like myself, but it is true! Health by Chocolate is the name of this delectable treat, and I am in love. The three types of chocolate bar are: Woman's Wonder Bar (with chaste tree berry, flax, soy, and rose oil to take sweet revenge on the symptoms of PMS and menopause), Instant Bliss Beauty Bar (with antioxidants for beautiful skin), and Beautiful Bones Bar (with calcium and vitamins D and K to support healthy bones.) I have tried the Beautiful Bones Bar, and it was rich, orange-flavored chocolate. Yumm.

Here are a few FAQ's I took from the HBC website:

I always thought chocolate was bad for me. Are you saying that I could actually get health benefits from eating chocolate?Yes! Chocolate contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are bioflavonoids that are some of the most powerful antioxidants in the world. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is a measurement for antioxidant activity in food. Of all the healthy fruits and vegetables the USDA has tested, the highest ORAC values were found in prunes (not exactly everyone's favorite snack). But chocolate's ORAC value is more than two times higher! (5,770 ORAC per 100gr. for prunes versus a whopping 13,120 ORAC per 100 grams for chocolate.) Dark chocolate has the same amount of flavonoids as red wine and four times the polyphenols of green tea.

What happens if I go on a health by chocolate binge and eat more than one bar?You’ll be in a very good mood. Chocolate contains a chemical called phenylethylamine, which is the same brain chemical released when we experience the euphoric feeling of being in love.

Will eating health by chocolate make me fat?Chocolate doesn’t make you fat. overeating does. Drinking sugar-laden soft drinks and eating animal fat can contribute to obesity. But you might find that health by chocolate helps you maintain a healthy weight. Why? Because it quenches your desire for sweets. Dark chocolate is loaded with minerals and antioxidants and has just enough healthy fat and sugar to make it a delicious snack. Enjoyed in moderation, up to 2oz per day of chocolate can be part of a healthy diet. So, when you satisfy your cravings with health by chocolate, you may actually wind up eating less and thus maintaining a healthier weight.

Isn't chocolate bad for my heart?Contrary to popular myth, chocolate is good for your heart! Cocoa butter is a heart-healthy fat that does not raise cholesterol levels. In addition, it contains oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that actually raises the good HDL levels of fat in the blood. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that eating cocoa can reduce the blood’s platelet activity. This means eating health by chocolate might actually "thin the blood"like aspirin does. The antioxidants in cocoa can also help improve immune function and reduce the inflammation of blood vessels.

But aren't all fats unhealthy?On the contrary, cocoa butter contains a rich assortment of healthy fats: 35%--Stearic Acid (which does not raise cholesterol levels) 35%--Oleic Acid (which may actually raise the levels of good HDL fats in the blood) 25%--Palmitic Acid 3%--Linoleic Acid. A fat-free diet leaves us hungry and with dry skin. Healthy fat is crucial to the feeling of satiety, to healthy skin and to the proper functioning of all our body's cells.

I have also learned that chocolate (all chocolate, not just HBC) releases sugar slowly. So that's good.

Happy chocolate eating! To order or find more information, go to http://www.healthbychocolate.com/index.htm.