Chocolate usually contains added sugar and fat which may raise LDL cholesterol, while cocoa powder, which is 90+% cocoa, may have beneficial effects on arterial function and chronic fatigue syndrome. Because of the sugar and saturated fat in chocolate we should stick with using cocoa powder, especially since it has so many antioxidants. Pregnant women should therefore be cautious when consuming high anti-inflammatory foods like cocoa powder.
The Kuna Indians drink over five cups of cocoa a day and have significantly lower rates of heart disease and cancer than Americans. Preliminary studies done on cocoa, however, were inconclusive as to their cardiovascular benefit.. Carob, a chocolate substitute, may protect colon cells from DNA damage.
Check out this healthy chocolate milkshake recipe.
Topic summary contributed by Katie.