A new study has reinforced the idea that chocolate's flavonoid content has a beneficial effect on serum lipids and bad cholesterol, helping reduce LDL by over 7% (that's 17 points for someone at 250 total cholesterol - read the review at the American Botanical Council). This continues to be great news for a chocolate-lover like myself. However, some important points bear mention:
- Dark chocolate is the only way to go. All studies find that flavonoid concentration in dark chocolate is much higher.
- Cocoa butter is not great in huge quantities, so I generally use cocoa powder (Green and Black's organic criollo is my favorite by far). The daily dose is between 2 and 4 tablespoons.
- Large amounts of sugar are also not too helpful. Again, a reason to use cocoa powder instead of sweetened bars.
1 to 1 and 1/2 TBS dark cocoa powder
1 TBS milk, or almond, rice, or soy milk
1 tsp honey
a pinch of cayenne
mix cocoa and milk until a nice paste is formed. Add hot water (to about 12 oz), stir in some honey, and a pinch of cayenne to taste. Excellent!