With countless types of diets buzzing around these days, women are eliminating some of their favorite treats from their diet, including chocolate. But as a result, this actually makes them desire those guilty pleasures even more. A lot of diets, such as the re-feed diet, suggest a cheat or reward meal in order to keep on track with your diet plan. And now, there’s another option for guilt-free indulgence.
Have you ever stood in front of your fridge and stared down that bottle of Hersey’s chocolate syrup thinking “Just a little bit won’t hurt,” but deep down you knew you’d indulge in way more than you said you were going to? Ladies, it’s time to take the word “guilty” out of the phrase “guilty pleasure.” (more…)
Chocolate is one of my very favorite foods. Chocolate ice cream, truffles, dark chocolate bars – I love it in all forms. And contrary to what some might think, chocolate is actually very healthy – that is, when eaten in the right forms and in moderate amounts.
After all, not all chocolate is created equal – you won’t reap the same health benefits from a Mars Bar that you would from a few squares of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. So before you consider this article a license to go on an all-out candy binge, know the facts first and then proceed with your chocolate-loving habits.
What is chocolate? First, the egg before the chicken. Chocolate is derived from cocao beans, which are the seeds of the fruit from the cacao tree. The Aztecs were thought hold the cocoa bean in high value and even used it as currency. (more…)
Bid farewell to the king; the king-size candy bar, that is. Mars Inc., the maker of Snickers, M&M’s, and many other popular chocolate candies, announced it will stop selling products that contain more than 250 calories.
The Mars company is claiming they have a new nutrition initiative. Along with eliminating the 510 calorie king-sized Snickers bar, Mars will have to make some other changes. The company plans to stop selling any product over 250 calories by 2013. That means the regular-sized Snickers Bar will need a makeover as well, as it contains 280 calories. The company also plans to eliminate trans fats from its products. By 2015, Mars hopes to have cut the sodium in their products by 25 percent from the 2007 levels as well.
The company, whose products also includes the brands Twix, 3 Musketeers, Mars, Milky Way, Dove, Galaxy, Skittles, and Combos is being accused of making these changes just as a way to reduce the amount of expensive cocoa they’d have to use in their chocolate candies. However, the company made a statement regarding its new healthier actions.
Many have heard that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is actually good for your health. Specifically, the word is that the antioxidants in cocoa are the beneficial components to chocolate. Studies do back these claims, but is it a license to eat chocolate all in the name of health? Probably not. CocoaWell is a product that aims to provide the benefits of cocoa without all the sugar and calories of chocolate.
Hershey recently conducted a study that found that the antioxidants in cocoa powder are at a higher level than any of the major “super fruits.” Acai, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate are often renowned as the highly powerful antioxidant fruits.
Harvard research has also documented that the Kuna Indians from the San Blas Islands near the Panama Coast consume more cocoa than any other people in the world. They typically consume about 6 cups a day or 40 cups of cocoa a week. Additionally, the Kuna have 1/9 the occurrences of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancer.
The case study seems to provide a lot of evidence for the benefits of cocoa. However, cocoa’s natural taste is very bitter which is why it is often mixed with sugar and cocoa butter. By that point, the health benefits have been largely negated. That is why CocoaWell created their cocoa supplements. The company puts pure cocoa in capsules allowing one to get large doses of the antioxidant rich cocoa without all the sugar and calories of chocolate.
A visit to New York City is rarely complete without a trip to Serendipity. If you’re in New York City on Valentine’s Day, it’s practically a must-stop for romaticals. Stocked with house-made sweets, and especially know for their chocolate creations, Serendipity is the answer to your sweet tooth’s prayers and the antithesis of any weight loss plan.
Since most of you won’t be in the Big Apple this February 14, and many of you are likely trying to watch your calories, sip on our Frozen Hot Chocolate instead. Inspired by the original at Serendipity, which delivers 340 sugar-sweetened calories, our recipe has only 140 calories and is just as worthy as a second straw.
Frozen Hot Chocolate
- 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk
- 1 ½ Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ Tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup ice cubes
- ½ cup canned fat-free dairy whipped topping (like Reddi-wip)
- Garnish: marshmallows, cocoa powder (more…)
Other than a box of chocolates, the dessert most synonymous with Valentine’s Day is the strawberry. Finally, a holiday with a love affair with fruit!
Strawberries are an incredibly delicious and healthy fruit. They are an exceptional source of antioxidants. While they are a generous source of vitamin C, that really only applies to the freshest of strawberries. After two days they start losing this vitamin’s potency. The bright red berry helps to regulate blood sugar and fight inflammation. One serving of strawberries is about one cup, or eight large ones. By themselves, on top of yogurt, tossed in a smoothie, or lovingly dipped in chocolate, there are innumerable ways to get at least one serving of this sweet fruit on to your plate every day.
For one special day in particular, treat yourself and your loves to dark chocolate covered strawberries. They’re a sinfully indulgent dessert that is completely guilt free.
The most anticipated day for all guests when I stayed at the Biggest Loser Resort was the day chocolate covered strawberries were served for dessert. Two very large, ripe berries were generously rolled in a dark chocolate and delivered to us with just the faintest sign of condensation (we were in the Utah desert, after all!). There, this dessert added only 91 calories to our 1200 calorie day. And we’d most certainly earned it! (more…)
Millions of people are planning on buying, giving and eating chocolate in celebration of love on Valentine’s Day. This time of year means big sales for chocolate companies. If you are interested in buying chocolate that supports fair labor standards, as well as those that do not harm the environment or your body, make sure you are well educated as to where your chocolate comes from and how it was harvested.
Of the many types and varieties of chocolate on the market, not all adhere to certifiable fair trade standards, which means there is little concern about the environment or the people who work hard to bring your sweet treat to a store near you. Those that do however will display the words Fair Trade on their labeling, making it easy for the consumer to be aware that they have kept up with the requirements necessary to be certified fair trade.
One notable chocolate manufacturing company that does not flaunt a fair trade certification, however surpassed fair trade standards and brought their harvesting and processing techniques to a remarkably high level of ideals. Kallari, the only line of world-class, certified organic dark chocolate is operated by an indigenous cooperative of organic cocoa growers who gain 100% of the profits for which they work so hard.
by Kelsey Murray
Women around the world, rejoice! Chocolate is once again being named as a healthy food for people to eat. This time, research shows that the tasty treat is good for your heart health.
Recently, five studies have shown a connection between high chocolate consumption and a significant reduction – 37 percent – in a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. Consuming chocolate also caused a 31 percent reduction in one’s risk for diabetes and a 29 percent decrease in one’s risk for stroke.
Of course, everything is better in moderation, so don’t take these new studies as an excuse to go to your local candy store and stock up on hundreds of chocolate bars.
“Although over-consumption has harmful effects, the existing studies generally agree on a potential beneficial association of chocolate consumption with a lower risk of cardiometabolic disorders,” said Adriana Buitrago-Lopez of the University of Cambridge.
by Kelsey Murray
For many people, Easter is a religious holiday that causes them to meditate on the sacrifices their Creator made for them. For most children, however, Easter is all about the Bunny and the candy. For the parents of these children, Easter is about sugar-highs and trips to the dentist.
If you are a parent and want to give your children healthier candies and chocolates this year (or if you just have a sweet tooth yourself), consider these Easter sweets instead of your usual standbys.
Dark Chocolate Covered Nuts. Almonds, walnuts, cashews, and other nuts provide healthy fats that are essential for your body to function properly. Dark chocolate provides antioxidants while also lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol and boosting your mood (every woman knows that chocolate has magic mood-lifting powers). The combination of nuts and dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) usually weighs in at 210 calories per 1.4 ounces while also providing 8 percent of your daily dietary fiber.