By Hayley Gurriell, Skinny Gene Intern
Oh no, Valentine’s Day is coming up and you know what that means- Chocolate… EVERYWHERE. It’s in the front of the grocery store as you walk in, it’s advertised on every website you visit at home, and it’s even generously available at your workplace for the whole month of February. Nothing succeeds more than Valentine’s Day in making you feel like crap if you, A. Don’t have someone special, or B. Are trying to avoid sweets. Well I am not a love doctor and I can’t build you a significant other (by the 14th at least), but I can make you feel a little better by telling you that although Valentine’s Day maybe be your enemy this time of year, chocolate doesn’t have to be.
With many things in life progress is made, not by trying to be perfect and of course not by completely giving up, but by making better choices. If you’re a chocaholic like me, you may find yourself constantly struggling to balance a healthy and fit lifestyle with your love of chocolate always on the tip of your taste buds. Well I am here to tell you that you can you still reach or maintain your health goals while satisfying your love for chocolate.
In a nutshell, certain dark chocolate:
- Can help lower blood pressure and heart disease
- Contains many antioxidants that fight against free radicals
- Satisfies hunger for a longer period of time
- Is a great choice for diabetic because in moderation of course
- Can help reduce stress
10 Products to Satisfy Your Chocolate Cravings
Remember when I said that thing about progress and making better choices? Well now I am going to help you make better choices by providing you with a list of health products that I believe are great for satisfying chocolate cravings.
- Metromint Chocolatemint Water- Chocolate infused water. Just the right amount of chocolate flavor to satisfy your sweet tooth without grossing you out. One of my personal favorites. Buy
Calories-0. Calories from fat-0. Carbs-0. Fiber-0.
- Teraswhey Dark Chocolate Protein Powder. Throw some in your post-workout shake or make some chocolate milk. Buy
Calories-110. Calories from fat-15. Carbs-5. Fiber-1.
- Betty Lou’s Chocolate Powdered Peanut butter- Powdered peanut butter is great because it has significantly less calories, oh yeah and this one is mixed with chocolate. Spread it on a banana or mix it in with some yogurt. Buy
Calories-40. Calories from fat-10. Carbs-6. Fiber-2.
- Numi Chocolate spice or Chocolate mint tea- All the great benefits of tea, along with the great benefits of chocolate. Double whammy. Buy
Calories-5. Calories from fat-0.5. Carbs-0. Fiber-0.
- Alpen Dark Chocolate Muesli Cereal- A much healthier alternative to cocoa puffs. Buy
Calories-170. Calories from fat-23.4. Carbs-30. Fiber-3.2.
- Annie’s Homegrown Double Chocolate Chip Granola Bars. Oh look, you’re getting double the chocolate and double the benefits. Score. Buy
Calories-110. Calories from fat-30. Carbs-21. Fiber-3.
- Garden of Life Chocolate Macadamia Nut Protein Bar- An excellent source of antioxidants, protein, AND fiber. Triple threat. Buy
Calories-230. Calories from fat-70. Carbs-25. Fiber-9.
- NuGo Slim Brownie Crunch Protein Bar- It’s a healthy chocolate brownie protein bar. Do you really need more convincing? Buy
Calories-190. Calories from fat-50. Carbs-19. Fiber-7.
- ACURE dark chocolate mint lip balm-No of course you don’t eat this, but I have a theory that if you smell it on your lips long enough your chocolate craving will die down. Buy
- Wrigley’s EXTRA mint chocolate chip desserts delight gum-A good way to get that chocolate taste in your mouth for a while without consuming it. Disclaimer: This product contains some ingredients that I would not recommend you ingest on a regular basis. **Wrigley gum can be bought at most grocery stores, markets, and gas stations
Calories-5. Calories from fat-0. Carbs-2. Fiber-0.
- One-A-Day Chocolate brownie Multivitamin vitacraves- These guys are geniuses. A chocolate flavored multi-vitamin. To a chocolate lover, that’s a lot of bang for your buck. Buy
Calories-20. Calories from fat-0. Carbs-5. Fiber-0.
Almost all of the products listed above are available at Sprouts Farmers Market.
Now you may have noticed that some products above were in bold while others weren’t. The items in bold are special because they represent not only a good way to curb a chocolate craving, but a significant amount of fiber. Fiber is important for many reasons including:
- Promoting intestinal health
- Slowing the rate of digestion, which leads to better blood sugar control
- Playing a role in lowering LDL cholesterol
- Inducing the “feeling fuller longer” effect on your appetite preventing overeating
- Lowering the risk of developing a heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, and certain cancers
The presence of fiber in anyone’s diet is necessary, but it is extremely beneficial for a diabetic or prediabetic in particular. On top of all the previously listed benefits, Fiber has the ability to help control the rise of blood sugar in your body after a meal. Fiber directly affects carbohydrates, which must be closely monitored in diabetics and prediabetics. These bold products are really GOLD products for diabetics who love chocolate. Not only do all the bolded products contain a significant amount of fiber, but they also contain less than 30% of calories from fat.
So don’t be afraid to indulge a little come Valentine’s Day, you deserve all the benefits that chocolate has to offer you.