Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Easter is for chocolate

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Happy Easter (to those who celebrate)! Personally I’m in it for the chocolate.

Lately there’s been much made of a study indicating that chocolate is now a miracle weight loss food. No need for me to point out the flaws of this study as Yoni Freedhoff has already done so. There are no magic weight loss foods. Even though eating chocolate is not going to magically help you lose weight, and eating too much of it will likely cause you to gain weight, it can still be a part of a healthy diet.

Your best bets for Easter chocolate are those that are high in cacao (the actual cocoa bean). Try to find dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cacao. Cacao is a great source of magnesium which is important for muscle and nerve function. Cacao contains many other nutrients such as calcium, iron, and several B vitamins. A lot of research has been done on the health benefits of chocolate and results indicate that dark chocolate may be beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease and depression. However, because chocolate, in the forms that we usually consume it, can be high in fat in sugar it’s important not to overdo it. One ounce at a time is plenty.

Another consideration to keep in mind when choosing chocolate is whether or not it’s fair trade. Fair trade means that all of the workers who worked to produce your chocolate were paid a decent wage. Choosing fair trade chocolate means that you can enjoy your treat knowing that people were not exploited for your benefit.

If you’re going to do Easter treats, do them right. Skip the jelly beans and “peeps” which are just sugar, colour, and various chemicals. Go for good quality chocolate.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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