The recommended daily chocolate intake. A few squares a day.
1. Scientists have found that the higher the cocoa content, the higher the flavanoid levels and this means a greater concentration of antioxidants (cell protection/cancer prevention).
2. A study by the John Hopkins University School of Medicine found that a few squares of chocolate a day can reduce the risk of a heart attack by almost 50 per cent in some cases.
How many calories do you have to spend?. Obviously you don't want to eat all of your available daily calories in chocolate (although oh what a yummy day that would be ;-)), but I think you have to decide how many calories you can "afford" to spend on chocolate each day. How much chocolate you eat is therefore influenced by what else you eat and how much exercise you get.
Kathleen and Nancy are correct...go for the purest form of chocolate for maximum satiation.
If you'd like to avoid added sugar, and have a moment to whip something up, here's my latest "creation from desperation" Definitely quells my sweetooth and my clients are raving about their new dessert that hasn't disrupted their shrinking waistlines.
No Sugar-Added Cherry Sorbet:
In large bowl (to avoid splash) mash 1 cup frozen pitted cherries. Mix in 1tsp vanilla extract, 2tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder. Top w/ or mix in 1/4c slivered almonds.
Can also puree all ingredients in blender for a smoother texture, but in a bowl you'll maintain a less homogeneous (smooth) consistency, which I prefer as every bite is a bit different.
For smoothie, puree in blender & add desired amount of ice & unsweetened soy milk. Obviously, smoothie will be less rich than uber-flavorful sorbet.