All treats are not created equal
Chocolate and sport may never make easy bedfellows. However, eaten in moderation, some indulgences are certainly better for you than others. According to Chantal Coady’s book ‘Real Chocolate’, mass produced chocolate contains as little as 5% cocoa, added sugar, hydrogenated fat, oil and artificial flavourings such as synthetic vanillin (which is made from the petrochemical precursor guaiacol).
Artisanal chocolate, on the other hand, is made from natural ingredients. It contains a higher cocoa content so the same sense of satisfaction can be attained with just a square or two. It follows that the less chocolate you eat, the less weight you gain.
Dark (70% or higher) and raw chocolate are packed with cell-protecting flavanol antioxidants. When made with natural sweeteners, they also have a lower glycemic index than milk chocolate made from refined sugar – so won’t make your blood sugar levels spike, then crash a few hours later.
If the message at the heart of the London Olympics is to inspire future generations to get fitter, then perhaps we should be educating our children to make healthier food