The Norman Transcript


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.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Just say no to 12-year-old’s Mohawk

    A mom recently asked me what I would say to my son if he was 12 years old and wanted a Mohawk haircut for the summer. I told her I’d say no. “But is it really that big a deal?” she said....

    August 1, 2014

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam set

    Norman residents will serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the homeless from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Andrew’s Park, 201 W. Daws St. A pop-up store also will distribute donations of new and gently used books, clothing, shoes, ...

    August 1, 2014

  • CCFI announces play therapy course

    Center for Children and Families will present the course Fundamentals of Non-Directive Play Therapy from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8 at Sarkeys Foundation, 520 E. Main St....

    August 1, 2014

  • Recent weather has been surprising

    Earlier this July, a dense cold front slipped into the central section of the Southwest — including Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and bordering states — dropping daytime temperature highs into the upper 60s and 70s, which I believe is an ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Are you a puppet or a prince?

    Names have power. This cautionary statement is frequently found in fantasy novels populated by magical beings. The implication being that you should choose your friends and enemies wisely....

    August 1, 2014

  • Crafter’s emporium planned Saturday

    Members of the Opal District Crafter’s Emporium, plus other local artists, will have an art show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E. Robinson St. in Norman. It will be hosted concurrently with the ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Williams book signing event set

    Jared Williams, a resident of Moore, will sign copies of his book “Cerebral” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings, 2300 W. Main St. Norman....

    July 31, 2014

  • Home dedication set Sunday

    Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity will host a dedication of the Ruvalcaba family home from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at 618 E. Apache St. Those attending are asked to bring a pantry item to help the family begin life in their new home. ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Two territorial littermate cats are asserting social dominance

    Dear Dr. Fox: When we decided to get a cat 10 years ago, I thought getting a couple of littermates would work well. They got along during the first couple of years, often sleeping together and grooming each other. As they matured, though, ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014