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Cocoa and Cholesterol

How to Flavor With Cocoa Without Ruining Your Diet

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Updated May 17, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Have you heard that Cocoa powder shows promise for reducing disease-causing inflammation? Wondering how to include it without adding too many calories? Here are some tips for smart substitutions with cocoa powder.

Go Dark

Step one for including cocoa powder in your diet is to select dark chocolate cocoa powder. Powder from dark chocolate has higher amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants than milk or white chocolate varieties.

Healthier Hot Cocoa

Instead of store-bought instant hot cocoa, which can be high in sugar, and low in antioxidants, opt to make your own. Try this Orange Ginger Hot Cocoa (Tip: use low-fat milk to make this recipe even more heart-healthy).

Dessert Alternative

When you have a craving for something sweet, why not skip the ice cream or cake and opt for a bowl of whole grain oatmeal, topped with 1 package of sugar substitute and 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder?

Make-Your-Own Spicy Sauce

The next time you plan to grill try whipping up this tasty Black Jack BBQ Sauce. It's a flavorful mix of cocoa powder, chilies, and garlic.

Kickin Chicken

Cocoa powder is one of the secret ingredients in this tasty Chicken Rojo dish (Tip: Use low-sodium broth, and limit salt-to-taste to make this recipe even more heart healthy).

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