Should I add cocoa powder to my diet?


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Q Many doctors and nutritionists recommend eating dark chocolate in moderation, and I’ve heard I should look for bars with 70% cocoa. But wouldn’t it be easier to add a teaspoon of 100% unsweetened cocoa powder to my morning coffee?

A. That’s a reasonable question, especially since one of the common warnings about eating chocolate bars is that they typically contain considerable amounts of sugar, fat, and calories. Potentially health-promoting compounds found in chocolate include a category known as flavanols. These compounds are abundant in many plants, including cocoa beans, which are the seeds of the cacao tree. Diets high in flavanols have been linked to better cardiovascular health, possibly by relaxing blood vessels (which lowers blood pressure) and improving blood sugar control (which may help prevent diabetes).

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