Valentine’s Day just wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate. But chocolate is more than just a delicious way to tell your sweetheart how much you care. It has a rich history as a prized commodity and, more recently, is regarded as a healthful part of the diet. Joy Mussleman, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital and Ron Beckstrom, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Associated Food Stores stopped by KUTV to explain the health benefits chocolate can provide.
Scientific evidence suggests that diets with between 2-4 oz of chocolate daily are associated with improved cardiovascular health. Look for lower sugar varieties with no more than twice as much sugar as fiber (1 oz of 80% dark chocolate has about 3 g fiber and 6 g sugar). Less processed bars will also have significantly more of the health promoting compounds.
To make it easy to find chocolaty snacks that provide the best health benefits, Associated Food Stores such as Macey’s, Lin’s, Dan’s, Dick’s, and Fresh Market have stocked flavorful chocolate options in their LiVe Well Lanes (which are supported by Intermountain Healthcare and the Utah Department of Health). Some examples include: chocolate snack bars, chocolate covered raisins, and chocolate covered coconut chips.