Yes, You Can Have Chocolate!

It's true. There's room for chocolate in any healthy diet, not only because new research indicates that it's actually good for you thanks to disease-fighting flavanols in the darker varieties, but also because it tastes good and you love it.

The key to including indulgences like chocolate in your diet without blowing your calorie limit is to eat them in moderation. That means limiting yourself to a small piece or two a day (about one ounce or 150 calories worth), and splurging on high-quality chocolate that really satisfies.

Another calorie-smart strategy is to pair chocolate with fruit (dip strawberries into a melted square, for instance), or mix air-popped popcorn with a few nuts and chocolate chips for a healthy homemade trail mix that feels like a real treat.

If you'd like a healthy eating plan that makes room for chocolate and other treats, check out SELF magazine's Jump Start Diet.

And if you're looking for heart-healthy dark chocolate ideas for your sweetie, stay tuned for my next blog!

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