Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not an April fools joke, honest.

JAN: When I first heard the chocolate news at a yoga retreat in February, I was just the tiniest bit dismissive. After all, these were the same people who believed that chanting could positively affect my chakras (energies.)

Chanting gave me an enormous headache, but they were right about the chocolate.

Chocolate reduces heart disease. And even better. You have to eat it every day for it to do its job.

It's the flavenols. Found in cocoa, they are a kind of antioxidant that helps release nitric oxide. Apparently, nitric oxide causes the blood vessels to relax and widen and also improves platelet function.

Do I understand what that means? Not really. But here's what one professor of cardiology says.

"Basic science has demonstrated quite convincingly that dark chocolate particularly, with a cocoa content of at least 70%, reduces oxidative stress...",” Frank Ruschitzka,director of heart failure/transplantation at the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland.

And that's enough for me.

Is it a wee bit suspicious that he comes from Switzerland, home of Lindt and other fine chocolates? Who cares?

As long as I get to eat dark chocolate every day, GUILT FREE, I'm in, hook, line nad sinker.

And if that isn't good enough news, the people at Cooking Light Magazine now says you don't have to remove chicken skin anymore.

I'm willing to accept this on faith since since I never remove chicken skin. It also bugs me when I'm cooking that the skin I marinate or rub with fine herbs might be peeled off and thrown into the trash.

But this month's issue says basically, its not worth the time to remove. You are only saving 2.5 grams of fat and 50 calories. "the long-standing command to strip poultry of its skin before eating doesn't hold up under a nutritional microscope.'

And now, for the most earth shaking change of rules EVER. Listen to this one: Fried food might not be okay, too.

The same Cooking Light article makes the argument that as long as you fry in a healthy oil, such as canola, and heat it sufficiently, the food you fry in it should retain very little fat -- and what it does contain won't hurt you.

I don't have the time to double check the research on any of this, I'm off to get some donuts, fried chicken (skin on) and chocolate. But how about the rest of you out there?? Is this the best week ever, or is this news just too good to be true?

(photo credit: Isabel M. Tirado)


  1. I've always believed that if I waited long enough, ignoring all the "no-fun" health rules and diet and exercise fads, that someday, they'd prove that sitting around eating chocolate was good for you.

  2. Terry,

    You were so right!! I, personally, am waiting for them to come around on butter.

    But I really like this chocolate thing because I decided long ago that I really didn' t need to waste any calories on flour and sugar (cookies) that all I needed was a hunk a chocolate in the evening.

    Now I just can't wait until this weekend, when Lent is over and I can follows doctors orders!!

  3. 2.5 grams of fat is a lot...but I still eat the skin.

    And I so agree, Jan, I'd rather have chocolate than cookies. But I'd rather have butter than chocolate. I'd rather have NACHOS than chocolate.

    Next, PIZZA.

  4. I've always gone with butter, on the assumption that natural is better than things that have long chemical names. My other creed is that if you use small amounts you can eat anything...

  5. Cheese is my downfall, too, Hank. If I gave THAT up for Lent, I'd probably actually lose weight.

    Yes, Rhys, that's my theory, too. I don't smear things with butter. I dab them. But I don't use any fake stuff. But mostly because it tastes bad.


  6. I'm totally with you girls--butter and cheese and none of that plastic-tasting lowfat stuff. I'd rather eat a cookie than a hunk of chocolate but only only if homemade. And yes Hank, pizza, hooray! all good things in moderation, or really, what's the point?

  7. There was a line in Sleeper (where Woody Allen, who runs a health food store in the Village, wakes up after decades and finds that chocolate, smoking, etc are all good for you. Are we there??

    Fifty calories a day is 5 lbs over the course of a year so - yes it sounds like nothing but every little bit helps. Janny is so tall and slim that it doesn't matter to her (grrr...)