The Norman Transcript

Features

February 13, 2013

What is the healthiest chocolate choice?

NORMAN — Q: With Valentine’s Day coming up, what is the best type of chocolate to choose for my health?

 

A: The cocoa bean in chocolate contains a large amount of flavonoids which is a type of antioxidant. These antioxidants help prevent the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. More specifically, flavanols (the predominant type of flavonoid found in cocoa) also have other potential benefits on heart health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, decreasing risk for blood clots and improving insulin resistance. Cocoa also may have a positive effect on migraines and colon cancer.

Not all forms of chocolate contain high levels of flavanols. The more processed the cocoa (such as fermentation, alkalizing, roasting, etc.), the more flavanols are lost. Most commercial chocolates are highly processed. Dark chocolate has been thought to provide the highest levels of flavanols due to its lower amount of processing.

So, when you reach for your next chocolate fix, keep the following guidelines in mind:

· Dark chocolate is likely to be the best option compared to milk chocolate or white chocolate.

· Choose cocoa powder that has not undergone Dutch processing.

· Avoid chocolate with additional ingredients, such as caramel, nougat, marshmallow, nuts, etc., which will add to the caloric and fat content.

· Opt for moderate (about 1 oz.) portions, as there is no current amount established for cocoa’s health benefits.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Parents urged to research ADHD

    Q: Our son has just been diagnosed with ADHD, and we have been told he may need social skills training. He is in third grade, and this is all very new and foreign. Do you know anything about this training, and what does this mean for his ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Eggspectations

    You may or may not be aware that for many people Easter Sunday is a greater and more important event than Christmas Day. On Easter Sunday the purpose which began with His birth, celebrated on Christmas Day, was fulfilled. Nevertheless, in ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Biting protocol for puppies

    Dear Dr. Fox: My puppy really likes to chew on my hand when I pet him. I am afraid he might get more aggressive when he gets older. His sharp teeth hurt, and sometimes he runs at me and jumps up to paw me. I push him away, but he comes ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Norman volunteer recognized for work at Veterans Corner

    Each week, we recognize a volunteer who makes that extra effort to assure that a veteran or surviving spouse receives VA benefits. Shirley Clark-Cowdin has been with us four years. During that time, she and her crew of ladies have helped ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Here is how reverse mortgages operate nowadays

    Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about reverse mortgages? I was considering one last year, but now I hear they are more difficult to get....

    April 15, 2014

  • Annual Norman Iris Show set at library

    A tradition of the Norman Area Iris Society and Norman Public Library returns this spring with the annual Norman Iris Show from 1 to 4 p.m. April 27 in the Lowry Room of the library, 225 N. Webster Ave....

    April 15, 2014

  • Allan Oehlschlager, family celebrating 100-year milestone

    From Kansas City to Norman with stops in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Yale, Oklahoma City and Edmond — looking back as he prepared to mark his 100th birthday today, Allan Oehlschlager termed it a “glorious ride.” Born April 13, 1914, in ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Single parents to be honored

    Five Oklahoma single parents and two adult children of single parents will be honored with awards at the Single Parent Support Network black tie fundraiser, “An Enchanted Evening,” on April 29 at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Dreams for the next 14 years

    On Monday I’ll be the proud aunt of a 14-year-old niece. For 14 years, I’ve had the chance to get used to her being 14 someday, and I’m still not there. Maybe in another 14 years, I’ll realize that she’s not a baby anymore....

    April 13, 2014

  • Midwest City reunions set

    Midwest City High School class reunions for 1970 to 1979 will be hosted in June at the Midwest City Community Center....

    April 13, 2014