February is National Chocolate Lovers' Month, but before you dive into
that box of truffles or cut a slice of seven-layer devil's food cake,
remember that while chocolate has its
health benefits, moderation is key. There are smart ways to savor chocolate and still
get that delicious taste without overdoing it on sugar, calories or fat.
Try one of these tasty tips:
1. Post-workout chocolate milk. This balanced blend of protein and carbs is a great drink to help the
body recover from strenuous activity. Ideally, it should be made with
low-fat milk, and the serving size should be no bigger than 10 ounces.
2. Chocolate-dipped fruit. Strawberries, pineapple, bananas--fruits such as these are yummy on their
own, and they taste even better enrobed in chocolate. Opt for dark over
milk (dark has more antioxidant-rich flavonoids); you can dip the fruit
in tempered chocolate or serve it up fondue style.
3. Dark chocolate. Because of its health benefits, and because it has less sugar and more
fiber than milk, dark chocolate is the better choice. But it still has
calories and saturated fat, so the best way to eat it is one small square per day.
4. Cocoa powder. Don't forget this form of chocolate--it's low in calories and
a recent study indicated that the body can turn cocoa into heart-healthy
substances. Buy unsweetened cocoa powder and sprinkle it on oatmeal, add
it to smoothies or pour into coffee for some chocolate goodness.
5. Chocolate avocado mousse. This is a treat that's decadent in taste but add the heart-healthy
fats from the avocado to some unsweetened cocoa powder and dark chocolate,
and it's better for you than the real thing. Serve in a small bowl
to watch your portion control. For a sample recipe, click