One of the most timeless cold-weather staples out there is hot chocolate. A cup of this can really get you feeling cozy on a chilly, rainy, or snowy day. As you’d expect, however, it comes with its fair share of considerations if you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet!
When it comes to most sweet treats, we have plenty of opportunities and possibilities for considering what is and isn’t right for our diet and fitness plans. It also means that some ingredients contain more beneficial material than others. With this particular beverage, antioxidants are a good example. Natural powdered cacao contains anthocyanidin, a type of flavonoid that can serve as an antioxidant. Processed cocoa powder, on the other hand, is often stripped of its antioxidant properties in the manufacturing process, which is something to keep in mind when making your choice!
Pros and Cons
The antioxidants we mentioned can serve a number of purposes, mostly pertaining to improvements in the health of your blood and heart. A natural cup of hot chocolate also often contains less saturated fat than a typical chocolate bar, with the added benefits of high magnesium. However, while hot chocolate can indeed contain beneficial stuff, it also bears a few compromises. Depending on how you prepare it or where you acquire it, you could be getting excess calories, too much added sugar, and too much fat content if it’s made with whole milk. As always, paying close attention to your ingredients and their sources pays off here.
Making It Healthier
So how can you enjoy the occasional cup without too much guilt? As we brought up earlier, going for natural, raw powdered cacao is a great starting point. Make sure that no sweeteners or other additives have not been mixed with the powder you choose. Use milk with a more moderate fat percentage and sweeten with raw honey instead of processed sugar. And of course, we can’t forget those marshmallows. One fun project can be to make them yourself using honey or other non-refined sweeteners. Stay wise about what your food contains and you’ll always find a way to enjoy tasty items in smart quantities!
It’s easier than you think to enjoy some of your favourite foods while staying fit and healthy. Vitality Fitness believes there’s a great fitness plan for everyone, so give us a call at (587) 777-3378 and we’ll help you reach your goals!