By Hope Kumor
Valentine’s Day is filled with two things: love and chocolate. If you’re trying to stick to a healthier diet or are curious about which chocolate is best for you, you’re in luck. We talked to Kylie Deppen, a holistic health and nutrition coach, from Joyful Health & Wellness based out of New York City to get the scoop.
GFGL: I hear that dark chocolate is pretty good for you. Is that true?
Kylie Deppen: Dark chocolate has many health benefits from increasing
libido to helping prevent heart disease.
What are the differences between milk and dark chocolate?
In order to get the most health benefits you need to look for chocolate
that contains a minimum of 70 percent cocoa and has as little added sugar as
possible. For those who are new to dark chocolate, I suggest you
gradually work your way up the higher percentage bars. Milk chocolate has
virtually no health benefits because it is made primarily with sugar and
Could you talk about what percent dark and milk chocolate is the best
Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. These
flavonoids help protect cells from free radicals which can eventually lead
illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. Flavonoids have also been
shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure by up to 10 percent.
Dark chocolate is also known for being a mood enhancer because it
stimulates the production of endorphins and serotonin, which are known as
the “feel good” hormones.
Do you suggest having a piece of dark chocolate every day since it helps
with headaches and cures those chocolate cravings?
There’s no need to overdo it, a one-ounce serving of dark chocolate per
day is more than enough to reap the health benefits mentioned above.
What are some benefits to milk and dark chocolate?
The best way of getting the antioxidant benefits of chocolate is by
consuming 100 percent cocoa powder, which can be mixed into protein shakes, made
into healthy hot chocolate or added to any recipe that calls for cocoa
Why do you think chocolate is so popular?
Unfortunately, most chocolate is popular because it’s full of sugar, which is highly addictive. High quality chocolate releases endorphins in the brain, which is why people tend to crave it when stressed.
What is the healthiest brand of chocolate and why?
I personally choose high quality, organic and fair trade dark chocolate. My favorite brand is Theo Chocolates [which are soy free, kosher and vegan].
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