This time of year, it’s cold outside and when we get home we want nothing more than the comfort of a warm drink. One popular choice is hot chocolate, but those who are looking for weight loss you may avoid it, feeling as if it’s a poor diet choice. After all, a drink made with chocolate must not be a part of a healthy diet, right? Not necessarily.
Research completed in 2003 at Cornell University showed that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants per cup than red wine or tea and offers an even tastier way to get those high levels of antioxidants into your diet. Research has proven that antioxidants can help prevent cancer, heart disease, and age-related macular degeneration. In order to obtain the same amount of antioxidants that you will find in a cup of hot chocolate, you would have to drink two to three cups of green tea, or two glasses of wine. Drinking hot chocolate is a healthier choice for you than eating a similar amount of chocolate because of its lower amount of saturated fats.
Those worried about high calories, fat or sugar content can rest assured, as it was proven that the antioxidants remained the same in drinks made with low or no-fat milk and sugar substitutes. The “hot” part is important, as the heating of the beverage actually increases the level of antioxidants available.
So, the next time you are chilly, whip up a great hot chocolate and feel good that you are helping to keep your body healthy while you satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s a win-win situation for both.
The hot chocolate itself has health benefits and can be a decadent treat. You’ll really get yourself in trouble with the calories if you don’t watch the toppings. A few tips to keep that hot chocolate on the up-and-up:
- No marshmallows
- No whipped cream
- Add a vanilla bean for a richer flavor
- Sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg on top
- If ordering at a coffee shop, order the small
- Make it homemade if you can, store-bought packages are loaded with sugar
January 10th, 2011