From a health and nutritional point of view, chocolates have a bad name. However, recent medical articles have stated that chocolate is not all that bad.



Stressed is the presence of flavonoids in chocolates that provide various health benefits.


From a health and nutritional point of view, chocolates have a bad name. However, recent medical articles have stated that chocolate is not all that bad.

Stressed is the presence of flavonoids in chocolates that provide various health benefits.

Flavonoids have been reported to help protect the heart because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effects.

They also help relax the blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure.

The amount of flavonoids present in chocolate depends on the type of chocolate that you enjoy eating.

Cocoa beans are used to make chocolate and the amount of flavonoids in the chocolate depends upon not only the type of cocoa bean used, but how the cocoa bean is processed. Much of this information is not available to the consumer purchasing the chocolate product.

Dark chocolate contains more flavonoids, and the darker the chocolate the more flavonoids.

White chocolate, which technically is not considered to be real chocolate, does not contain flavonoids.

Although eating chocolates is an enjoyable experience, one should certainly should not consider chocolate to be a health food. If you want to ingest flavonoids, there are many more nutritious foods available to accomplish this such as fruits and vegetables.

Chocolates are guilty of containing a high amount of calories and fat. One chocolate bar may contain over 500 calories and 40 grams of fat.

Then add some nuts, caramel, or creams, and you are talking about calories and fats galore.

However, chocolate is not guilty, as frequently charged, of being the cause of, or associated with acne. Medical studies have never found such an association.

People eat chocolates because they enjoy their taste, and should not rationalize that are also eating a health food.

I am not advocating not eat chocolates, but if you do, limit the amount that you consume.

And remember the adage, the better the chocolate tastes, the more likely it contains a high amount of calories and fat.

But isn't that true of all foods?

Dr. Murray Feingold is the physician in chief of the National Birth Defects Center, medical editor of WBZ-TV and WBZ radio, and president of the Genesis Fund. The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that funds the care of children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases.