Without a doubt, chocolate has to be one of the most popular foods in the world. It is delicious, satisfies our craving for sweetness and good fats, and is universally associated with festivity. Chocolate, however, is often seen as a villain when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, seemingly incompatible with what is accepted as good nutrition. However, in regulated amounts, chocolate and chocolate products, such as Chocolate Nutrition Bars, can be a part of a healthy diet.1. Beneficial Impact on Cholesterol
Studies show a positive link between consumption of chocolate bars containing plant sterols and cocoa flavanols, as part of a low-fat diet; and a reduction in bad cholesterol and improvement of blood pressure.2. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Recent studies have shown a strong correlation between eating higher portions of chocolate and lower risk of heart disease (by almost one-third), which by no means is a reason to gorge but should be seen as proof that eating chocolate in moderate amounts can be of actual benefit to the heart.3. The Benefit to Fetal Growth and Development
According to a study presented at the 2016 Pregnancy Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Atlanta, GA, eating just 30g of chocolate every day during pregnancy may benefit fetal growth and development. "This study indicates that chocolate could have a positive impact on the placenta and fetal growth and development and that chocolate's effects are not solely and directly due to flavanol content," says Dr. Emmanuel Bujold, Université Laval Québec City, Canada.
4. Improvement of Brain Function
In a recent study by Italian researchers, Valentina Socci and Michele Ferrara, from the University of L'Aquila, Italy, flavanol-rich cocoa consumption has been linked to improving memory, short-term cognitive function and counteracting cognitive decline. According to the authors, “Acute administration of cocoa flavanols could result in an immediate cognitive-enhancing effect, sustaining performance particularly in cognitively demanding conditions, including fatigue and sleep loss,”
5. A Rich Source of Antioxidants
A study led by Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, Professor of nutrition at Penn State University, found that people who ate a diet rich in cocoa powder and dark chocolate had lower oxidation levels of bad LDL cholesterol, higher blood antioxidant levels, and 4% higher levels of good HDL cholesterol. “My research shows that a diet containing about an ounce of chocolate a day increases good cholesterol and prevents bad cholesterol from oxidizing, a process that may lead to heart disease. It's okay to eat dark chocolate in small amounts, as long as you otherwise engage in healthy eating and can afford the calories. Try eating it with nuts or fruit for more good fats and even more antioxidants," says Dr. Kris-Etherton. Eating Chocolate Nutrition Bars is another option.
6. Chocolate Can Help You Lose Weight
“A little sweet treat on occasion can help keep those cravings in check and allow you to follow your weight-loss or weight-maintenance regimen,” says Maria-Paula Carrillo, M.S., R.D.N., L.D. In small amounts, dark chocolate can also add fiber which helps you feel fuller for longer. The release of feel-good hormones - endorphins after indulging your chocolate craving, can also help you stay positive and in control of maintaining your diet.
PureFit offers a couple of delicious options for Chocolate Nutrition Bars including Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Brownie. Try some today!