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Chocolate can be good for you


Carol Smaglinski February 22nd, 2007

While chocolate in itself is not an aphrodisiac, it does contains an amino acid that stimulates the production of endorphins, a brain chemical that dulls pain.   "Apparently, people who have just 'fal...

While chocolate in itself is not an aphrodisiac, it does contains an amino acid that stimulates the production of endorphins, a brain chemical that dulls pain.
 
"Apparently, people who have just 'fallen in love' show elevated levels of this amino acid, indicating that their brain chemistry does change," wrote Dr. Alan R. Hirsh, the neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.
 
HEALTY CHOICES
While chocolate may be high in fat, it is not the type that increases bad cholesterol levels.
 
The healthiest chocolate choices are those high-quality bittersweet or high-quality dark chocolates containing a minimum 70 percent or more of cocoa solids. These are among the more expensive types of chocolate available in specialty stores.
 
Consuming them is a much better decision that wolfing down a candy bar with less than 20 percent chocolate, but with an addition of sugars and saturated fats.
 
TELLING THE DIFFERENCE
Check the label for the percentage of cocoa solids. Those usually translate into the more intense chocolate flavors and less sweetness, but with good balance. Like scotch, it's an acquired taste. The best intensely flavored chocolates start at about 60 percent.
 
Chocolate labeled "bittersweet" will produce a more pronounced chocolate flavor than that labeled "semisweet." That is due to the bittersweet's (usually) higher concentration of chocolate liqueur and its lower sugar content. "Carol Smaglinski
 
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