Good or Bad for You? The Verdict On Chocolate

It may help lower blood pressure and improve your mood, but it's also high in calories and fat. Confused? Read on! (10 Photos)

Madelyn Fernstrom PhD CNS on Nov 3, 2010 at 3:58PM

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Good or Bad for You? The Verdict On Chocolate

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Chocolate's Antioxidant Power

The Claim: Dark chocolate is a prime source of antioxidants.

The Bottom Line: Chocolate, extracted from cacao beans, gets its health benefits from a type of antioxidant known as flavanols, which are also found in grapes, apples, and strawberries. Of the various types of chocolate, dark chocolate is richest in flavanols, while milk chocolate has much less (along with more sugar). White chocolate -- a mix of cacao fat, sugar, and flavorings -- has no flavanols. Stick with 70 percent or higher cocao bars, or try unsweetened cocoa powder (it you can tolerate the bitter taste), or a dietary supplement with concentrated flavanols.

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