Cacao has a high concentration of antioxidant-rich phytochemicals called flavanols, but once the cacao is converted into chocolate, it acquires a substantial amount of sugar and fat that are not exactly heart-healthy. Plus, the amount of flavanols in the chocolate are diluted with the addition of sugar and milk. Although research indicates that cacao may improve blood flow and even reduce the formation of clots, 2,300 calories a pound is a high price to pay for prophylactic measures. Cocoa powder made with lowfat milk and a minimum of sweetener is the best way to consume cacao antioxidants. Choose a cocoa powder that has not been “Dutched”: Dutching destroys phytochemicals.

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