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I am a big dark chocolate fan.

For some, dark chocolate is an acquired taste, but it is my favorite little indulgent treat. What makes it even more appealing are the benefits. It is not only nutrient-dense and contains high levels of beneficial flavonoid antioxidants. It can help to lower the risk of diabetes due to its low sugar content, improve gut bacteria, enhance blood flow, help lessen inflammation and boasts heart health benefits as well.

A study done in demonstrated that cocoa powder significantly decreased oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol and increased HDL (good) cholesterol for subjects who had high cholesterol. In addition, dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce insulin resistance.

When it comes to bars, I like the varities in Madecasse Chocolate and Green and Black. I was also turned onto Danelion Chocolate out of California and they have the best (read large!) baking chips! If you want just a simple basic chip to snack on or throw into cookies, I like Ghirhardelli and 365. Just be sure to read the labels - dark chocolate is not all created equal and being dark does not make it dairy-free.

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