Some kinds of chocolate are nearly a health food, thanks to compounds called flavanols that can help prevent heart disease. Other kinds are pure junk. We'll guide you to the best picks and away from the worst.
Sources: Mary Ellen Camire, Ph.D., professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Maine and president of the Institute of Food Technologists. Joshua Lambert, Ph.D., associate professor of food science at Pennsylvania State University. Roseanne Schnoll, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor of health and nutrition sciences at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. Gregory R. Ziegler, Ph.D., professor of food science, Pennsylvania State University
Because these roasted and cracked cocoa beans are 100% cacao, they're especially high in flavanols. They're crunchy and unsweetened, with a raw-chocolate taste. Try them on yogurt or in a smoothie.
Choose a variety that's at least 70% cacao. In general, the higher the number, the more healthy compounds and less added sugar. Even better: dark chocolate studded with Dr. Oz faves like nuts or cranberries.