Fast Food Catering
Chocolates and Choosing a Healthy Weight
By now, we know that eating a few squares of dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content each week can increase cardiovascular health – and it’s a fact proven by scientists. The reason for its health benefit: Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that aid in decreasing blood pressure and increasing blood cholesterol levels.
But there’s a catch, too. Even dark chocolate has high calorie and fat content that can counteract its health benefits. Eating one too many squares can cause weight gain, among other unhealthy effects.
With that said, here are our tips in enjoying chocolate-based desserts and drinks at restaurants like Baja Fresh without going overboard.
Choose Dark Chocolate
Milk chocolate may be sweeter in contrast with the slightly bitter taste of dark chocolate but it’s also less healthy. This is because milk chocolate has more sweeteners than dark chocolate, thus, the dietitians’ recommendations for eating the latter. The best choice, as previously mentioned, is dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content.
But limit your consumption to a few squares per week. You can also eat dark chocolate in smaller amounts or with lesser frequency. Your body will not likely gain weight so quickly from the extra calories and fat.
Don’t forget increasing your physical activity level, too. You can walk for 45 minutes at a brisk pace so you can burn off the 1/3 cup of hot chocolate you enjoyed.
Choose Healthier Choco Combos
Aside from the dark chocolate option, you should also look for healthier chocolate drinks and desserts. You can ask waiters, for example, about substitutions for fattening ingredients and use healthy ingredients, if you’re making chocolate treats at home.
A few examples include:
- Go for a basic chocolate protein shake. You will not only satisfy your sweet tooth but refuel after your workouts, too.
- Use cacao nips, which are small roasted cacao beans, in your chocolate chip cookies.
- Add cocoa powder into your coffee.
- Combine melted dark chocolate with avocados and dates to use as a sandwich spread.
- Sprinkle cocoa powder, perhaps a teaspoon of unrefined brown sugar, into your oatmeal.
- Substitute tofu for cream when making a fudge pie.
- Dip fresh fruits into a melted chocolate (i.e., fondue) instead of cakes and cookies.
Of course, the best way to enjoy dark chocolate without ballooning like Aunt Marge is to eat in moderation. When you feel like succumbing to the temptation of eating more chocolates, you can reduce your cravings by eating fiber-rich fruits and vegetables instead – and Baja Fresh definitely has many of these healthy food.