Chocolate is delicious, smooth, creamy, velvety goodness that has been savoured and enjoyed since the 1900s. As a dietitian, people expect me to say chocolate is a ‘forbidden’ food and that they should replace it with a piece of fruit. Like all foods that are indulgent, I like to take the view that if it is truly savoured and enjoyed in small amounts, it can most certainly be part of a healthy relationship with food.
Eat chocolate, lose weight
In 2013, neuroscientist Will Clower published a book with that attention-grabbing title. The main strategy in this book is to consume a small square of ‘good quality’ chocolate 20 minutes before a meal and 5 minutes after a meal for a hormonal response that triggers the brain to feel both satisfied and ‘full’. His research concluded that this strategy can cut your appetite by 50 per cent.
Choosing ‘good quality’ chocolate
Milk, dark, white, caramel, salted, chilli bars, blocks, powders. Chocolate takes up almost a quarter of a supermarket aisle and is a visible temptation at the checkout. There is a stark contrast between a block of dark chocolate and a candy popping chocolate bar. For health benefits, you want to go for a chocolate with around 70 percent cocoa. If you are used to a sweeter, milkier chocolate, it might be a good idea to increase your levels of cocoa over time.
Make your own!
To ensure your chocolate is made from nourishing ‘wholefoods’, here’s a dark chocolate recipe for you.
WHAT YOU NEED:
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons of honey or pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
WHAT YOU DO:
In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt together the ingredients.
Whisk until completely melted.
Pour into a chocolate mould.
Refrigerate for 90 minutes.
To add some interest, you could add in some goji berries, crushed almonds, orange rind or toasted hazelnuts. Delicious!
Savour and enjoy your chocolates and over time, shift your attention towards a chocolate that has 70 percent cocoa with less refined sugar… or maybe start making your own! Eat slowly and mindfully, and always eat without guilt.
Until next time…
Eat well, be well.