Clean Eating Dilemma, British Chocolate Week!

So this week it's Chocolate Week in the UK.... yes seriously, the chocolate industry has a whole week to encourage us to eat more chocolate. I really don't think they need to bother, it's Chocolate Week every week and most of us don't need much encouragement in the choccie department! It's rich and decadent and eating it releases feel-good hormones making us crave more.

But seeing as I covered British Egg Week in my I 'Heart' Eggs' post, then I thought I'd give a quick mention that you can still get your chocolate fix while following a healthy diet.

Be under no doubt, chocolate combined with sugar, flour and artificial fats is not good for you. So traditional chocolate bars, cakes and sweets have no place on my Eating Clean plan and I avoid them, they mess up your blood sugar levels leading to fat storage and weight gain.

But research has shown that organic dark chocolate does have some amazing health benefits. It contains flavanols which act as a blood thinning agent, lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. In fact similar flavanoids are found in of my other favourite treats. Aah a brew and some dark choccie, who would have thought they were so good for you?!

Buy the best quality dark chocolate you can, organic if possible and ideally at least 80% dark chocolate, and eat just a small amount. Luckily chocolate combines so well with nuts, coconut, dried fruit, and fruits such as blueberries and cherries that you can add these to make a more substantial healthy treat.

As most of us have grown up eating milk chocolate loaded with fat and sugar, then high quality dark chocolate can be an acquired taste, your palate has to adjust to the intensity of flavour. Build up from 60% to the higher strength chocolate. My favourite has to be Green and Blacks Organic 85% Organic Dark Chocolate, but I can only eat a couple of squares and I'm done, I challenge anyone to eat more than that in one go!

Both Tesco and Aldi also do great tasting 85% dark chocolate which are a cheaper alternative to Green & Blacks.

Check out cocoa powder too. It's low in calories and fat and can be used in recipes or to make drinks. Cocoa powder also has great health benefits too.

Here's one of my favourite eating clean recipes so far, and one of my most popular. Falsetesers - A Clean Eating Chocolate Dessert. Surely something that looks and tastes so good must be bad for you!

So have you tried high percentage dark chocolate and do you recommend any particular brands for me to try? Or do you prefer milk chocolate, and would you consider swapping to plain for the health benefits? Comment and let me know.


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