I travel a lot on business, and it’s not always easy to find food to keep my energy up while I’m on the road. I used to rely on Lara Bars, but they have so much sugar that they’re not my favorite choice it they are all I get to eat on a cross-country flight. For the last two years, I switched to 90% dark chocolate bars instead. What a huge difference! The healthy fat content keeps me satisfied and fuels my brain, chocolate is full of polyphenols and antioxidants, and the mild caffeine and theobromine are performance enhancers. Plus, it’s amazing how nice flight attendants can be when you share a piece of dark chocolate with them…
But new research from the UK shows that LOTS of chocolate is healthy.
No, you’re neither dreaming nor are you reading The Onion. The study just came out in August 2010, and found that people who ate 45 grams of QUALITY chocolate every single day for eight weeks had improved cholesterol levels without a single bad side effect. That’s about half of a large bar of chocolate. The research showed that 85% dark chocolate high in polyphenols (not milk chocolate) raised healthy HDL cholesterol levels without affecting insulin resistance, inflammation, or weight gain.
Chocolate is great stuff and makes us all feel good, and after reading this study, there’s no longer any need to feel guilty about sneaking that sliver. In fact, you can toss out that low-fat granola bar and replace it with chocolate, and actually do something good for yourself. Just make sure the chocolate is 85% cacao (very dark) chocolate.
Sadly, milk chocolate and most truffles, chocolate confections, candies, etc. will not make you Bulletproof at work or at home because the sugar in them prevents them from being healthy.
I’ve sampled high-end chocolate from around the world and finally settled on Lindt 90% dark chocolate as my preferred source. The reason is that Lindt has European standards for mold levels in chocolate, so the chocolate is surprisingly smooth and sweet for a chocolate that dark, and it’s lower in toxins than typical chocolate. In fact, many people who are “allergic” to chocolate are just responding to the naturally occurring toxins in cheap chocolate. See www.lindt.com
Sometimes, after I’ve had a cup of very creamy high-end coffee with breakfast, and later find myself snacking on dark European chocolate as I sit across a negotiating table from a competitor who is eating a bag of fat-free soy pretzel nuggets in a desperate attempt to prop up his flagging late afternoon energy, a little tear comes to my eye as I think about what an unfair advantage I’m going to have because I eat Bulletproof food.
High-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate improves HDL cholesterol in Type 2 diabetes patients. D.D. Mellor, T. Sathyapalan, E. S. Kilpatrick, S. Beckett, and S.L. Atkin