Why it’s good for you: If you want to treat yourself, dark chocolate is the way to go. It’s better than milk chocolate because of its high concentration of cocoa, which is packed with disease-fighting antioxidant plant chemicals called flavonol; milk chocolate contains only modest amounts. Those antioxidants can help reduce the risk of blood clots and lower blood pressure and inflammation as well as improve insulin resistance. A recent studyeven found that those who indulged in a little bit of chocolate five times a week were slimmer than those who didn’t. “I tell all my patients that a little can go a long way,” says Janet Bond Brill. “Eat chocolate by the piece and not by the pound.”
How to eat it: Keep a dark-chocolate bar around and have a little piece when you crave a treat.
Serving size: 1 oz.
Recipe: Dr. Janet’s Flourless Dark-Chocolate Brownies with Walnuts
Yield: 16 servings
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup packed Splenda brown-sugar blend
½ cup quick-cooking oats
¼ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-in. baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place black beans in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, oats, cocoa powder, olive oil, espresso powder, flaxseeds, vanilla and salt. With an electric mixer, blend the ingredients for about 2 minutes until the black beans are mushy and the mixture is smooth. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and the middle of the brownies is firm. Let cool before slicing into 16 pieces.
Nutrition per serving (1 brownie):
Fat: 6 g
Sodium: 89 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Dietary fiber: 2 g
Sugars: <1 g
Protein: 3 g
Recipe excerpted from Prevent a Second Heart Attack by Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., R.D., LDN (Three Rivers Press, February 2011). To learn more about this book, visit DrJanet.com or PreventaSecondHeartAttack.com