Saturday, June 9, 2012

Loose Women

A balanced diet is a chocolate in each hand...

The prospect of some guilt-free indulgence is always welcome, and scientific research has once again come up trumps! The publication of certain recent findings was a joyous occasion--second only to the announcement that red wine is actually good for you. It's more than good for you. In fact, it's so crushed full of antioxidants, that it's practically a prerequisite for a healthy, balanced diet. A glass a day, keeps the doctor away.

And now it would appear that chocolate is the champion. It pulverises the competition in the stakes to beat those troublesome free radicals. Antioxidant-rich diets are linked to numerous health benefits, and are frequently cited as helping to lower the risk of various conditions--heart attack, cancer, cholesterol problems, Alzheimer's and many more included. So who could blame us for assuming that if chocolate is packing a punch in the antioxidant stakes, then it’s actually pretty good for you?

But the good news doesn't stop there. Chocolate--it would now appear--is the gift that just keeps on giving. Chocolate could, apparently, make you thinner. If you consume it five times a week, your BMI is likely to be lower than those who don't. This recent study seems to add to growing evidence of the metabolic benefits of certain compounds contained within this sweet treat.

While we're at it, we may as well grab the baton and run with it. The cocoa that goes in to making our chocolate is, after all, a natural, plant-based product. It's practically one of our five-a-day.

But most of us know that all that glitters isn't gold, and chances are, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Sadly, we're not being given free-rein to lounge in front of Loose Women and stuff our faces with every delight that Mr. Cadbury has to offer. The chocolate in question is actually more of a bitter pill. It needs to be dark, made with cocoa butter, and contain at least 60 or 70 per cent cocoa solids. Furthermore, you've got to stop after a bite or two.

So it seems that we don't have the green card to gorge after all. But surely a little remorseless indulgence is good for the soul? After all, according to Isabelle Holland, "guilt is the price we pay willingly for doing what we are going to do anyway."

PS: Thank you so much for Catherine M. L for sharing this with me :)

Much love, Sera

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