Healthy Living – Redefining Healthy Eating


I’m not a fan of studies. You know exactly which ones I mean, they come out almost daily, usually with information that conflicts the prior day’s study, and always reported in a sound bite fashion that leaves the average person afraid to eat, breathe or sit in a rocking chair.

Remember the one about not stretching before exercise, as it is very bad for you, and caused injury? That was directed at professional athletes whose sport required physical contact (ie football players might do well not to have stretched and loosened muscles and joints when they were going to hit from the side by 1000 pounds of on-rushing linebackers – not the typical scenario for most exercisers).

Or what about the one about avoiding drinking water during exercise? That was a caution against drinking gallons of fluids while doing prolonged, vigorous exercise, like running a marathon; again, not much useful info there for someone that exercises for general health.

But today, there is a study that we can all appreciate…the health benefits of dark chocolate. Here’s the “sound-bite” on the study…

Next time you’re craving an afternoon snack, pass up the “healthy” green tea for some dark chocolate  if you’re hoping to battle high blood pressure A study released Monday is one of the first to be done on chocolate and shows that cocoa’s polyphenols or flavonoids, help lower high blood pressure, Dirk Taubert, senior lecturer in pharmacology and toxicology Cologne and lead author of the report, told HealthDay News. Taubert’s team’s report included 10 studies on cocoa with 173 participants and five tea studies with 343 participants. The tea trials yielded no reduction in blood pressure.


Read the study in its entirety – green tea versus dark chocolate – and you’ll find out that cocoa appears to have benefits in preventing Alzheimer’s too. I’m not advocating overeating chocolate (or overeating anything, including carrots) but I am trying to challenge your thoughts about what constitutes “healthy eating” in hopes that you’ll see that restrictive notions of what’s “good” for us don’t really lead us to the best choices. Take a look at The Art and Science of Snacking – another view of eating well by Green Mountain’s nutritionist and blogger Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, CD.

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