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Health and Fitness News Article - TheraGear Article Resource

Holiday Dieting; A Sweet Way To Cheat!

Article #37

If your diet is making you a humbug this season, theres some good news. Turns out dark chocolate, that decadent confection, may actually be good for you!

Yes, recently conducted studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition have shown that a dose of dark chocolate will heed all sorts of healthy results. And with the holidays just around the corner, this news couldnt have come at a better time.

So just for fun, I thought Id conduct a mini-research project of my own and get the skinny on our friend dark chocolate. Heres some of the interesting factoids I came up with:

Cocoathe precursor to chocolate--has been around a long time. A few thousand years, in fact. It has been thought that cocoa beans were brought to Europe in the 1500s by Christopher Columbus.

Cocoa, later made into chocolate, was given to American Soldiers in WWII. A source of high energy, each solider was given a three chocolate bar per day ration, according to historical data.

Researchers started getting more involved when studies began showing that in addition to being a high energy food, chocolate also seems to stimulate elevated moods. Researchers found truth to this, showing that dark chocolate does, in fact,
increase levels of the mood-altering chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins.

Some researchers have also gone on to conduct major studies to prove the correlation between chocolate and a true physiological craving. (Check out Why Women Need Chocolate, written by Debra Waterhouse, Registered Dietician in 1999).

And, the best news yet. Upon further study, it has been found that the flavonoids in dark chocolate are scientifically proven to act as antioxidants, preventing bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood from oxidizing and clogging arteries.

So, if you are looking for a healthy way to cheat this holiday season, dark chocolate may not be all together a bad option. Facts aside, however, and before you run out to fill your shopping cart full, keep these guidelines in mind:

Heed the advice of Aristotle: Everything in moderation. Refrain from taking the chocolate factory tour. Keep your chocolate fix to a minimum. Enjoy it, but please dont over do.

When you are shopping for chocolate, try to find dark varieties with at least 70% cocoa.

Also, make sure sugar or butter fat are not the first items listed.

If youd like to skip the treat and not the fun, send a virtual chocolate postcard from this fun chocolate website (no calories included) :

To summarize my findings, it appears that dark chocolate is in fact our friend (and we will just leave its aphrodisiac qualities to your own private discussion groups, thanks).

As for the cravings.Well, do we really need chocolate?

Survey says: Dunno. But, with the holidays upon us, a Hersheys Special Dark Chocolate once in a whilenow available in the sugar free variety, mind you--sounds sweet enough to me.

(Research Ref: Eat To Beat Cancer, Hatherill. 1998 St. Martins Press, New York)

Laura Turner, Certified Personal Trainer has developed a series of health, fitness, and nutrition tips available at ===> In 21 days you can create healthy new you,let her show you how! Get her free report: 7 Steps to a High Performance Body by sending a blank email to: ===>

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Laura Turner, Certified Personal Trainer