Q: Can you take a bite (or two) of that chocolate Easter bunny?
Oz says: Yes, you can!
Go ahead, have a chunk of chocolate — especially the antioxidant-rich dark kind. Studies have shown that chocolate with high amounts of cocoa can lower blood pressure and "bad" cholesterol. The catch? Experts agree the advantage is seen mostly with really dark chocolate, made with 70 percent cocoa or more. That's darker than your average bunny (though the cute guy at right makes the cut). Love milk chocolate? You don't have to give it up; just know it won't bring benefits the way the dark stuff will. As for portioning, all chocolate should be treated as a treat: Stick to a 1.5-ounce serving. When you do break off a bit, tune in and savor it. You know how commercials make eating chocolate look like a life-changing experience? Enjoy it like that.
Train Your Taste Buds
Milk chocolate loyalists can be swayed to the dark side. Slowly work your way up from milk to semisweet to dark, until you hit 70 percent, says Jessica Fishman Levinson, RD. (It may take lots of chocolate eating to get you there. Best homework assignment ever.)
Need help slowing down? Try individually wrapped chocolates.They're harder to eat mindlessly than a big slab.
Raise the Bar
These bring a healthy dose of cocoa and make-you-swoon flavor.
Ghirardelli Intense Dark 72% Twilight Delight: Rich and velvety, with coffee notes.
Godiva 72% Dark Chocolate and Almond: Sweet and creamy; the nuts add oomph.
Taza Coco Besos Coconut (70%): Minimally processed, bold, and fruity.
This story originally appeared in the April 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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