If you're like me, you eat pretty healthy but come to a roadblock when it comes to sweets. You might over-indulge in sugary sweets that completely throw you off track, and I know I used to. Eating healthy makes you feel great, but when you crave something for dessert you could feel like it's a lost cause. After some research and of course, podcast listening, I came across the sweet-tooth savior: dark chocolate.
I eat a pretty healthy range of foods every day. I'll go for my morning run, make my green smoothie, and have avocado toast loaded with healthy fats. I feel much healthier than I did before I started eating mindfully, and I have way more energy too. The problem that I stumbled upon, though, was my sweet tooth. That damn sweet tooth! I would come home from the grocery store with plenty of yummy, healthy foods, but I always hit a wall when I had a craving for something sweet. Especially during that time of the month, I'd beg my boyfriend to go to the store and buy me a pack of peppermint York patties, only to feel guilty about indulging in something so bad for me. The Yorks seemed so out of place in my fridge loaded with avocados and salmon. I had always let myself eat unhealthy sweets before, but now I care too much about what I put into my body and try not to fill it with highly processed sugars.
Recently, though, I heard a "mindbodygreen" podcast where a doctor was raving about the benefits of dark chocolate. I did some of my own research and found that plenty of doctors had great things to say about the semi-sweet chocolate, and I thought I'd try it out for myself. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and good for heart health. Finally, I can indulge in something sweet that's not complete junk!
The most obvious benefit of dark chocolate for me is that it cures my sweet tooth. Ever since I started buying dark chocolate, I don't crave sugary foods like I used to. I love having dark chocolate in moderation whenever I feel like I need something sweet, and I look forward to it as a dessert occasionally. It satisfies me, so I don't go searching for a York or Reese's cups anymore, I'm actually a bit repelled by them now. Read the labels of those sweets and you might be too.
Instead of making rash decisions when I'm in the mood for something sweet (like running to McDonald's to grab a hot fudge sundae), I have my dark chocolate waiting for me in the fridge. The key is to have it on hand so that when you feel that craving coming in, you don't run to Walgreens and buy a bunch of York patties. After dinner some (most) nights, I'll have a small piece of dark chocolate and that's enough for me. It's semisweet, but still sweet enough that it curves my craving.
One of the important things to note when eating dark chocolate is the cocoa percentage on the label. Aiming for high cocoa content (at least 80%) is the healthiest option. Anything below 80% isn't made up of enough cocoa and will have more sugar. Pure cocoa is where the health benefits derive from, so you want to make sure you're getting the right type of chocolate.
As long as you eat dark chocolate in moderation, you'll be fine. You can reap all the health benefits of this delicious sweet and not feel guilty about indulging your sweet tooth!
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