By Megan O. Steintrager, Epicurious
I never get tired of hearing good news about chocolate's health benefits. Here's the latest from an email newsletter from the Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter: "Spanish researchers report that daily consumption of 40 grams (about 1.4 ounces) of cocoa powder in about 2 cups of skim milk improved cholesterol levels."
Now, the study was small (42 people with an average age of 70) and short (two, four-week periods), but researchers found that when the volunteers in the study were given skim milk with cocoa instead of plain milk, "they saw a 5% increase in good HDL cholesterol and a 14% reduction in oxidized bad LDL cholesterol,' according to the Tufts report.
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Want to duplicate the experiment at home (with your doctor's approval, if necessary)? The amount of cocoa used in the study, 40 grams, is a little less than three tablespoons. Try it out in Mexican Hot Chocolate, or, even simpler: Stir unsweetened cocoa powder into a small amount of very hot water to make a paste, then whisk in hot skim milk and add a little of your sweetener of choice.
At this time of year, I'd probably then cool the hot chocolate and serve it iced or blended into a smoothie, such as this amazing-sounding Iced Mocha Shake, made with one of my other favorite "vices" that keeps getting "virtue" status: coffee.
Have a healthy use for cocoa? Share it below in the comments section.
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