Our Best Freebie Yet? Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate

Today’s Freebie is one of our favorite foods—dark chocolate.  This is no Russell Stover or Whitman’s Sampler. We would not do that to our faithful AFH readers.  Our chocolate giveaway is from one of the premier chocolatiers, Ghirardelli. Of course, I need to point out that Ghirardelli is from my hood, the city by the bay, home of baseball’s current World Champions—SF GIANTS.

You might be wondering why are dietitians giving out dark chocolate as part of their heart month promotion?

I have two reasonably good answers:

1.  It’s Valentine’s Day; and

2.  Dark chocolate is healthy.

Of course, dark chocolate is not the same as eating your fruits or veggies because of its calories, sat fat and sugar. However, dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate and it packs in a significant amount of antioxidant-rich cocoa flavonoids.

Flavonoids are are naturally-occurring compounds found in plant-based foods like tea, red wine and berries that offer certain health benefits.  Flavanols are a type of flavonoid specifically found in cocoa and they specifically are thought to contain antioxidant properties they have been shown to help reduce blood pressure, improve the flexibility of arteries, make blood less likely to clot and reduce cholesterol levels.

The best chocolate for your health is the ones with the highest amounts of cacao, which is code for more flavanols. Still, dark chocolate contains cocoa butter and sugar so its calories add up. An ounce or two a day is all we really recommend. But as long as you choose an intense dark chocolate, a little bit goes a long way.

Tell us what you like or dislike about our site or share your  “Sweet” or “Bitter”  Valentine’s Day story in the comments section below. Several of the best stories will win a bag of  Ghirardelli 72% Cacao “Twilight Delight” and 86% Cacao Midnight  Reverie Intense Dark Chocolates.  These are the highest levels of cacao found in any Ghirardelli chocolates.

To enter, you must be a friend of Appetiteforhealth.com on Facebook and sign up for our free, informative, anti-spam newsletter. All AFH terms and conditions apply.

Comments

  1. hmm, we just got home from church- due to having the past two weeks off of school my kiddos decided today we would have a Valentines Day celebration a day early- we all were making heart shaped pizzas together but they just told me to relax and they were giving me a day to relax- they are making whole wheat cheese pizzas- one with green peppers and onions just for me! They are letting me watch my favorite shows today and giving me my day. I know it doesn’t sound like much but we have had it rough- my ex did notcelebrate VD day or love any other day so the fact they are freely smiling and loving- without worrying if they will get in trouble makes me smile. Life right now may not be perfect but I am loving the moment and cherishing their safety and happiness right now. This is my happiest I have been on a Valentines in a long long time

  2. Jonathan Buffington says:

    I have never known a sweet Valentine’s Day because I haven’t recieved a Valentine since elementary school when everyone gave their friends those little cards and due to my bad memory I can’t recall any special moment from that time. This year I am thinking about Valentine’s Day due to the fact I read this blog daily. I guess you could say I have never been blessed as others to have a special someone who made it a point to make Valentine’s Day special. It’s sad I know, but it just is. On a lighter note, i’ve lost 21 pounds in a month by eating vegetarian, and due to 3 heart attacks I eat dark chocolate everyday. During one of those hospital stays a friend sent me a Ghirardelli basket and I really loved the unique taste of the Bay area’s renowned chocolatier. You guys are really making me wanna be in a long-term relationship, good job App for Health for showing the love!

  3. Hi Jonathan,
    Thank you so much for following the site and for the kind words. Congratulations on your weight loss! That is a terrific achievement and I am sure will be inspiring for other readers as well. Best wishes for continued success in all your endeavors!
    Katherine

  4. Lee Lowery says:

    My ‘bitter’ valentine’s story is simply when I do not get any really good chocolate! It’s ‘Sweet’, when I do… Ghirardelli Dark is the only chocolate I like!

  5. This must count as a “sweet” valentine’s story. I love to surprise my valentine. I know she loves chocolate and strawberries, so what could be better than home made chocolate covered strawberries? Ands you can choose the ingredients your self. I prefer to use organic strawberries if available. And then I mix Ghirardeli 100% unsweetened chocolate and 60% bittersweet chocolate.

    I melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over hot water and then dip the strawberries (you can have a few while you make them, but remember why you are making them)

    I just finished making them myself for tomorrow and I put together a little photo collage, maybe this that can inspire some men out there to do a little bit extra!

    http://d.pr/f3sK

  6. I love Dark Chocolate! Thanks for the added info ladies ~ Michele

  7. My “sweet” Valentine moment is when Craig and I were first dating and he made me a great Valentine’s dinner in his little NYC apartment (23rd and 8th Avenue, next to the then-movie theatre on the fifth floor walk-up) and he had candles and red roses all over the apt. While I cannot recall what we ate for dinner, I know there were strawberries and dark chocolate involved.

    A great memory!

  8. Debbie Chioffe says:

    I am not Bitter about the fact that I have not had a Sweet Valentines Day in some time. I have had some very sweet ones in my life. Ohh the stories that I could tell…and I remember the innocent fun and excitement of VD when we were kids…the anticipation of recieving those corney little Valentines Day Cards delivered to us at school. We would see who got the most and would blush if we recieved the one that we really wanted from our Secret Crush, the other cards could contain a funny poem or sweet rhyme but I would read every word of my “boyfriends’ card and try to decipher the depth of his “Love”. Later when I was older, I would celebrate Valentines Day with gusto and pamper my Beau in every way that I could… and look forward to be treated special too. I realized though that in true love, I did not have to wait for a certain day to express my love and set out to insure that the person of my affection felt my Amore and commitment everyday of the year. So now I still like to celebrate Valentines Day and I hope to recieve a token of appreciation and love in its honor..yet I know that if I do not, another day is right around the corner and maybe that day can be my Valentines Day.

  9. Christopher Sorel says:

    You can spend money, buy flowers, or you can buy a heart shaped box of horrible milk chocolates. How about sharing with your love, the love of dark chocolate. Homemade valentines day treats of chocolate whoopi pies that are covered in more dark chocolate. She told me this morning the best gift ever. That made me melt

  10. Pinkerbelle says:

    Sweet: My engagement party on Valentine’s Day
    Bitter: Ominous* thunderstorm during the party (*spelled: ‘omen’-ous)
    Sweet: Surprise guests at the party
    Bitter: Surprise breakup six months later
    Sweet: Discovered my REAL true love soon after….
    Sweet again: Just celebrated our 29th anniversary!

  11. My favorite section in the Appetite for Health site is the Fit and Fabulous section. I just started a serious attempt to get into shape and enjoy all of the articles and tips on this site to keep me motivated and on track. Just having an amazing husband and two of the most wonderful little boys on the face of the earth makes every day sweet, so Valentine’s Day is extra “sweet” because I can share it with them. My husband LOVES dark chocolate, and if I won, I would give the chocolate to him!

  12. Wow! Terrific comment! What a fantastic Valentine’s Day story. Thanks for posting! Katherine

  13. Annette Aben says:

    Valentine’s Day has come to mean sharing love with everyone including myself for it was 22 years ago today I told my husband I was leaving him. I know that may sound like a strange time do make that major announcement and believe you me, it wasn’t planned but I am convinced that the powers that be took over and I simply followed. Since then I have learned how to honor my life and love myself which has allowed me to be a better friend, family member and all around person and yes, my ex and I are friends, something we never really were when we were married.

  14. I am always on a diet. Recently, I created my own “meal plan” by using Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones supplemented by my own fruits and vegetables. This, again, only generated about a 1 pound weight loss is three weeks (I also walk a mile 5 days a week). I have since increased my exercise (interval training….running, YUK!!!) and turned to your site for nutrition help.

  15. My sweet Valentine was when I unexpectitally got homemade valentines from the kids on my floor this year. I was so down cause its my first Valentines day away from home and usually my parents get me flowers and balloons

  16. Susan Shelly says:

    I enjoyed Jonathon’s post and hope he wins this wonderfully sweet and bitter prize. I was fortunate enough to get to visit the Ghiradelli factory while on vacation in San Francisco. It was a chocolate lover’s idea of Heaven. I would like to see Jonathon win because he has lost 21 pounds in one month, treats himself to a little dark chocolate and follows this site daily. And no, we are not related and I do not know him personally. Good luck Jonathon and please keep us posted on your weight loss progress. I know I can use the inspiration.

  17. Thanks for all the great comments. Several of you are getting emails from me today for addresses to send your Ghirardelli Dark!

    Please keep providing us comments and sending your friends our way.

    Julie & Katherine

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