Five ways to pick heart-healthy chocolate
Excerpted from an article by Sarah Jio for Self magazine...
1. Scan for key words - Choose snacks that DO NOT list alkali or Dutch-processed cocoa in the ingredients. "Dutching" reduces flavonol content, which is the compound in chocolate that can lead to heart health.
2. Opt for dark chocolate over milk chocolate
3. Buy flavonol-friendly brands - The Mars corporation recently patented a process it claims protects flavonoids (flavonols and other compounds)
4. Make real hot cocoa with natural, unsweetened cocoa
5. Go to the source - Work cacao beans into your diet for a flavonol dose. The beans are often sold as "nibs," the shelled form.
And Sarah offers this cacao bean smoothie from chef David Wolfe of San Diego: Grind a handful of cacao nibs in a coffee grinder. In a blender, mix 1 tbsp ground nibs, 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup skim milk.