Chocolate can be good for you

Dark chocolate

If you’re tempted to stray from good eating habits  this coming Easter weekend… fear not, chocolate isn’t necessarily all that bad for you, as long as you opt for something with a high cocoa content.

A 100-gram bar with 70-85 per cent cocoa for instance comes with 11 grams of fibre and high levels of iron, magnesium, copper and manganese, and is said to be packed with antioxidants.

A recent Swedish study published in the British Medical Journal even showed it can help lower the risks of heart attacks and heart disease. It looked at the diets of some 67,000 people too – so that’s a decent sample size.

Another looked at chocolate and brain capacity and found it can be a smart choice: habitual chocolate intake was linked with increased cognitive function over a wide range of tests.

As ever there are some downsides: that 100g bar can pack in around 600 calories, so if you’re watching your weight, cocoa is a no-no.

There are also suggested links between eating chocolate and acne, while a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found links between chocolate and reduced bone density in older women, a portion of the population already with increased osteoporosis risk.

My take: enjoy some as a treat this weekend and on occasion, but don’t make a habit of it and stick to dark chocolate, high in levels of organic cocoa.

If you’re looking for a nice homemade chocolate kick, check out his recipe