Ode to Chocolate: Tips for Chocolate Lovers from a Nutritional Therapy Angle

Happy Valentine's Day!

Ode to Chocolate

No poetry here, but I just have to say I love chocolate!

However, I also just have to say, some "chocolate" doesn't deserve to be called by that precious name. (Apologies to those who love junk "chocolate", but it's just a fact.)

I love real chocolate. Which can come in many varieties of intensity. (I don't enjoy 100% unsweetened chocolate myself, though I'm not against that at all if you do. More power to you!)

I'll share a few specific product recommendations below these 5 Tips for today!

#1 Tip, to begin, please just know and trust (if you haven't gotten this far yet), that when you turn your health around with real foods in general (including, though not limited to, real chocolate ;-), your tastes will change, and a whole new world will open up for you. One in which you can nourish your way into better health with enjoyment. (And please, please, no dieting!)

#2: Hershey's, and similar so-called chocolates, are junk food. I'm NOT saying you can never eat them. I even eat them myself very occasionally. (Less and less as my health and tastes have improved in recent years!) I just don't consider them real chocolate. And if I do eat them, I know that I need to make it up to my body and my health in some way, so I can undo the damage they caused, which is more than just weight gain. (You can ask me about how if you're not sure, and know that it is NOT by following a binge with a diet.)

#3: The more metabolically healthy you are, the more resilient you are when it comes to indulgences like chocolate (whether real or junk).

#4: The highest quality and lowest sugar/sweetened chocolates (see some examples in the suggestions below), can actually be quite healthy to include in your diet, high in polyphenols, minerals, and even has fiber! I recommend working your way over time to enjoying at least 70% dark chocolate, and always avoiding milk chocolate (and fillings), to consider it in the super food category.

#5: Processing and specific ingredients matter! Look for chocolates that have recognizable, simple ingredients, and ideally list "cocao beans" rather than "cocoa liquor" as an ingredient. Organic also preferred over non-organic. Same goes for any fillings IF we're talking about filled chocolates, truffles, etc. (Much harder to make "filled" chocolates non-health-damaging, though not impossible!)

Some of my personal favorites (and I know there are many more out there!):

  • Evolved Chocolate
  • Alter Eco Chocolate
  • Theo's Chocolate
  • And if you want fancy chocolates? (And yes, expensive, and less optimal than the first 3 listed above, but worth it.) I recently discovered, and sampled, the new Bon Chocolats in Bothell, WA. Yum! (You can find her on Facebook, and she actually cares about getting the best ingredients and minimizing sugar. (I don't know whether they ship anywhere yet.)


Why NOT to Diet (ever again), and What to Do Instead: Free video lesson and PDF

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