DARK CHOCOLATE BECAME A HEALTH FOOD. Recent studies have touted cocoa's health benefits from lowering blood pressure to boosting skin's resilience to sun damage giving consumers even more reason to indulge in some chocolate. Mars recently launched CocoaVia, a dark chocolate bar that's high in flavonols (a potent antioxidant found in cocoa); Nestle has introduced a line of 53 percent and 62 percent cocoa chocolate chips and bars; and Hershey's now makes Extra Dark (a high-flavonol, 60 percent cocoa bar) as well as dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses. Dark chocolate may provide some health benefits (and it sure is delicious), but it's still dessert, so enjoy it in moderation about an ounce a day.
WHOLE GRAINS GOT A WHOLE LOT SEXIER. They're showing up not only in baked goods but also in pastas, cereals, and even juices. And that's good news, because whole grains including wheat, corn, oats, barley, quinoa, spelt, and rye contain more fiber and other important nutrients (such as selenium, potassium, and magnesium) than refined grains do, and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Look for the words "whole grain" or "whole wheat" to be listed first among the ingredients.