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home : features : health and wellness July 23, 2016

3/12/2013 5:59:00 AM
Mmm, chocolate!
Eunice Mesick
Diet Center’s tip of the week


Is it okay to eat chocolate? They say it is supposed to be good for you.

Chocolate and cocoa both are made from cocoa beans of the cacao tree. Cocoa contains minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Chocolate also contains minerals such as copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

In addition, chocolate contains compounds called flavanoid polyphenols that act as antioxidants. And while chocolate contains saturated fat, stearic acid is the saturated fat that makes up one third of chocolate's fat. Studies show that stearic acid does not raise cholesterol levels.

Another third of chocolate's fat comes from oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat, which can actually help lower cholesterol levels.

That is the good news - now for the bad news.

Chocolate items are typically loaded with calories, so you still should make wise choices to stay on track with your weight loss. A small piece of chocolate candy may contain 150 calories! This would mean a two and a half pound box of chocolates could provide as much as 5,000 calories!

Think you could exercise enough to work off the excess calories? It's possible, but even a 155-pound individual would have to walk over 10 hours or run over seven hours!

One Monday morning I did a 2-hour and 3-minute bike ride that burned 1,264 calories. That means that I was burning about 10.3 calories per minute.

In order for me to burn 5,000 calories, I would have to ride for about 8 hours and 6 minutes, averaging a heart rate of 157 beats per minutes for the entire ride. All of a sudden that box of chocolates does not sound like it is worth it.

I know most of us will not eat the entire two-and-a-half-pound box in one sitting, but how many of us might possibly find ourselves eating more then we intended to?

Obviously, too much candy could lead to weight gain, and any amount of candy could crowd out nutritious food you need on a restricted calorie weight loss program.

If you must have some candy, make sure you do so in moderation. This would mean consuming only one or two pieces. You should also try to exercise that same day to help burn extra calories.

You can also try to encourage your significant other, family member, or friend to give an alternative gift than chocolates on a special occasion. There are many nonfood items that can make you feel just as good as a piece of candy would.

For example, a favorite music CD, a basket of soothing products for a relaxing bath, a certificate for a massage, flowers, or new outfit can all give you feelings of pleasure. With a nonfood treat, you can feel good and continue to lose the weight so that you'll feel even better!

Thank you for reading Diet Center's weight loss tip of the week. For more information, stop by 1848 Hope Ave. in Kingman or call (928) 753-5066.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Jack A.Lope

There is also supposed to be a huge difference between dark chocolate and milk chocolate.......
i will stick with my dark mixed with some greek yogurt

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