#BaptistHealthy Easy Eats: How to Eat Chocolate Mindfully

Chocolate is one of the world’s most favorite flavors and humans have been consuming the delectable confection since 1900 BC. Most of us do not need a special day to consume a piece of chocolate. But on Sunday, September 13, International Chocolate Day, we urge you to eat a piece and learn to eat it mindfully.

Eating mindfully is a practice that can help people enjoy food more, while avoiding overeating. They say that the first bite is the best one, so why not make it memorable by putting mindful eating into practice.

Health Benefits of Eating Chocolate

  • First choose a dark chocolate (65 percent or higher). Most people agree dark chocolate is an acquired taste because of its bitterness. However, once you develop the taste, you will enjoy the indulgence.   
  • When compared with milk chocolate, dark chocolate is higher in heart-protecting flavonols, which have shown to be anti-inflammatory and lower in saturated fat and sugar. The higher the cocoa percentage the better.

How to Eat Chocolate Mindfully

  • Grab a piece and notice the color, texture and smell of the chocolate.  
  • Take a bite and close your eyes to maximize the sense of taste. Swirl it in your mouth, taking time for it to dissolve; let every taste bud have a taste of it.
  • Open your eyes and ask yourself, how do you feel? Did you enjoy it? Are you satisfied?
  • Is another piece necessary, if so, go ahead and repeat, otherwise put away the chocolate and repeat on another occasion when you want to again enjoy the taste and health benefits of dark chocolate,

Happy International Chocolate Day.  Enjoy.

Meet the Author

Carla Duenas is a registered dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator and Care Specialist (CDCES) with Community Health at Baptist Health South Florida. A passionate promoter of wellness and prevention, and nutrition’s role in managing chronic diseases, Ms. Duenas’ expert tips and advice have been featured in print and broadcast media, including Miami Herald, CNN, CNN en Español, NBC and Univision. She has consulted with the Consortium for a Healthier Miami-Dade to help local restaurants offer healthy meals. Ms. Duenas is also an avid endurance athlete, competing regularly in races and marathons.

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With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

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