Tatiana’s Pilates in Carpinteria, CA.
Lotus Newsletter, May 2010, Issue # 15


With all the recent media hype about the health benefits of this sweet concoction, chocolate makes a great Mother’s Day gift. But is all this chocolate you receive from your sweetheart really that good for you?

Health Benefits. While chocolate is regularly eaten for pleasure, especially in February, there are potential beneficial health effects of eating chocolate. Chocolate is made from cacao beans, which contain flavonoids, the same kind of beneficial plant compounds found in fruits, veggies, red wine and green tea. Research suggests that these flavonoids may have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Other studies have linked chocolate consumption to reduced blood pressure, improved circulatory system and cholesterol levels. Other beneficial effects suggested include anticancer, brain stimulator, cough suppressor and anti- diarrheal effects. An aphrodisiac effect is yet unproven.
It should be noted that health benefits have been seen primarily with dark (not milk or even more so white) chocolate, as dark varieties tend to have a higher proportion of flavonoids.

Cons. On the other hand, the unconstrained consumption of large quantities of any energy-rich food such as chocolate is thought to increase the risk of obesity without a corresponding increase in activity. Raw chocolate is high in cocoa butter, a fat which is removed during chocolate refining, then added back in in varying proportions during the manufacturing process. Manufacturers may add other fats, sugars, and milk as well, all of which increase the caloric content of chocolate. There is concern of mild lead poisoning for some types of chocolate. Chocolate is toxic to many animals because of insufficient capacity to metabolize theobromine.
So, remember! Chocolate should be consumed in moderation, as part of a healthy, varied diet. Eating any food in excess of caloric needs will result in weight gain without an increase in activity. That’s why you might consider giving your sweetheart both gifts: a box of chocolates and a package of Pilates classes at Tatiana’s Pilates ( check for our Valentine’s Day Special!)
And some red roses wouldn’t hurt either!

Compare and Choose Wisely
Unsweetened cocoa contains 66 calories with 3.9 g of fat
Baking chocolate weighs in at 142 calories with 14.1 g of fat
Sweet dark chocolate has 143 calories with 9.7 g fat
Semisweet chocolate yields 136 calories with 8.5 g of fat
Milk chocolate packs 152 calories with 8.4 g of fat
White chocolate yields a whopping 162 calories with 9.1 g of fat!

A study reported by the BBC indicated that melting chocolate in one’s mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was more intense than that associated with passionate kissing, and also lasted four times as long after the activity had ended.
Read more about Tatiana’s Journey to Chocolate

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Carpinteria, CA 93013 • 805.284.2840 •

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