How much dark chocolate should I eat per day/week to gain full health benefits without worrying about fat intake/weight gain, as sites have conflicting information on this, and it is not clear.
Well Heather that's an excellent question. The problem is no one really knows the answer!
Some studies show improvement in blood pressure after consuming only 6 grams of dark chocolate a day.
Other studies seem to indicate that you need to consume 3 ounces a day to see benefits.
Dark chocolate is calorie dense. Eat too much and the added weight will cancel the benefits!
So you should consider eating about one ounce of high quality dark chocolate a day. That would cost you about 150 calories. To avoid weight gain eliminate an equal amount of calories from your daily intake.
Choose candy that's minimally processed or better yet, raw. Processing can destroy a significant amount of the beneficial antioxidants in cocoa.
Look for one of the brands of candy that lists the antioxidants per serving.
Eat the darkest chocolate you can. The higher the percentage of cacao or cocoa mass the better.
Unsweetened natural cocoa powder or raw cocoa powder is also a good choice. It has far less
fat than candy. Hot cocoa made with low fat milk
and an artificial sweetener makes a low calorie beverage.
Before you make any changes consult with your healthcare professional.
Also please read Is Chocolate Bad for You? Health Effects of Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Drug Interactions.
Sometimes it's wiser to skip the chocolate.
The best bet is to choose quality over quantity.
Try to pack the most nutrients and antioxidants into your candy while minimizing the number of calories.