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Get ready for chocolate season!

The holidays are around the corner and let’s be honest; they’re going to be filled with an abundance of chocolates, brownies, and cakes.

However, if you are trying to watch what you eat but cannot resist completely, there are healthier choices you can make, such as opting for dark chocolate varieties and selecting smaller individually wrapped chocolates (but not eating the entire box!).

We’ve all heard the stories about dark chocolate and its beneficial qualities, and for some of us, that the green light  to indulge away! However, we should really know a bit more than ‘it’s better for you than milk chocolate’. So here’s the info you should know:

Chocolate comes from cocoa beans and some components in cocoa beans, like a group of antioxidants called polyphenols, may protect our hearts. One of these antioxidants called flavonoids, contribute to pigment. More flavonoids means darker chocolate and potentially greater health benefits, however antioxidants are also found in a variety of foods including fruits and vegetables, tea and red wine (also something to not overdo!).

Sounds good, doesn’t it? So does that mean it’s good to eat lots of dark chocolate?

Unfortunately no, because chocolate is a ‘discretionary’ food and due to a high sugar and fat content, it should be enjoyed occasionally as part of a balanced diet. Dark chocolate (60% or more) is simply less refined than milk or white chocolate.

That leads us into our next point - moderation is key!

Big blocks of chocolate are super tempting but if you want to enjoy chocolate in a healthier way stick to 25 grams and have it only occasionally. That is the same as ½ a small chocolate bar or 1/10 of a family block. Which when you think about it, really isn’t that bad!

If you are after a cheeky chocolate fix, why not try one of our Nature Valley Crunchy Peanut Butter Bars bars? Not only will you satisfy your chocolate craving you’ll benefit from having 59% of your whole grain daily target!

So this time– opt for the darker option – share this delicious Hedgehog Brownie Recipe with the family or take Christmas Tree Brownie Squares to a friend’s house, just remember it’s an occasional treat, so when you have it enjoy every mouthful!

Let us know below your favourite dark chocolate recipe!

This article contains general information. Please consult your healthcare professional for specific advice for your personal situation.

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