Dark chocolate contains healthy antioxidant flavonoids similar to those found in tea, red wine, fruits, and vegetables. Dark chocolate may lower pressure in people with high blood pressure. This delicious treat may also help lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol.
Milk chocolate does not produce the same benefits as dark chocolate, as it contains a lower percentage of flavonoids. Milk chocolates are usually made with more fat (cocoa butter) and sugar, and therefore may contain more calories.
Cocoa produces the same effect as dark chocolate, but it must be pure cocoa,
not prepared “hot chocolate mixes” that contain large amounts of fat and sugar, and
not “Dutch-processed” cocoa, which contains calcium carbonate. Dutch processing destroys up to 98% of the flavonoids.
Even those on a very restricted diet can have a healthy chocolate treat by drinking cocoa made with low-fat milk and an artificial sweetener. Just remember to indulge in moderation.