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  • Eat More Chocolate

    From: It's official -- chocolate linked to heart health

    It's official -- chocolate linked to heart health
    August 29, 2011

    High levels of chocolate consumption might be associated with a one third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal today.
    The findings confirm results of existing studies that generally agree on a potential beneficial link between chocolate consumption and heart health. However, the authors stress that further studies are needed to test whether chocolate actually causes this reduction or if it can be explained by some other unmeasured (confounding) factor.

    The findings will be presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris on Monday 29 August 2011.

    The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030, nearly 23.6 million people will die from heart disease. However, lifestyle and diet are key factors in preventing heart disease, says the paper.

    A number of recent studies have shown that eating chocolate has a positive influence on human health due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This includes reducing blood pressure and improving insulin sensitivity (a stage in the development of diabetes).

    However, the evidence about how eating chocolate affects your heart still remains unclear. So, Dr Oscar Franco and colleagues from the University of Cambridge carried out a large scale review of the existing evidence to evaluate the effects of eating chocolate on cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.

    They analysed the results of seven studies, involving over 100,000 participants with and without existing heart disease. For each study, they compared the group with the highest chocolate consumption against the group with the lowest consumption. Differences in study design and quality were also taken into account to minimise bias.

    Five studies reported a beneficial link between higher levels of chocolate consumption and the risk of cardiovascular events. They found that the "highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with lowest levels." No significant reduction was found in relation to heart failure.

    The studies did not differentiate between dark or milk chocolate and included consumption of chocolate bars, drinks, biscuits and desserts.

    The authors say the findings need to be interpreted with caution, in particular because commercially available chocolate is very calorific (around 500 calories for every 100 grams) and eating too much of it could lead to weight gain, risk of diabetes and heart disease.

    However, they conclude that given the health benefits of eating chocolate, initiatives to reduce the current fat and sugar content in most chocolate products should be explored.


    Provided by British Medical Journal (news : web)

  • #2
    Fat content...ooh, scary...

    Don't entirely get how it improves insulin resistance though. Apparently it has to do with improvement of nitric oxide bioavailability...somebody clarify?

    But anyways, Theo's does a great 91%. Just had a few squares

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    • #3
      I was thinking of something. If stress leads to heart disease by increasing cortisol level and chocolate relieves stress by reducing corisol levels, then chocolate = lower cortisol level.

      But, all that sugar is not good for the body, though...

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      • #4
        No.

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        • #5
          Observational study = needs actual lab testing. Otherwise, there are too many confounding factors.

          That said, I love cooking with cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kristy2078 View Post
            But, all that sugar is not good for the body, though...
            I don't think the sugar is a big deal. A 90% bar has about the same amount of sugar as an apple.

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            • #7
              I really like hot chocolate made with real cocoa powder, but since I don't do dairy, no luck now. Chocolate as in bars, dark or otherwise, I don't really care for. I'd rather eat fruit.
              My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
              When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by otzi View Post
                The studies did not differentiate between dark or milk chocolate and included consumption of chocolate bars, drinks, biscuits and desserts.
                There's the important part. You're not going to net any health benefits by shoving five pounds of M&Ms into your stupid face. But if you mix some unsweetened cocoa powder into your coffee, yogurt, etc...then sure. It's long been known as a healthy plant for its antioxidants - the other junk involved is not.

                from wikipedia:
                Chocolate and cocoa contain a high level of flavonoids, specifically epicatechin, which may have beneficial cardiovascular effects on health.
                Prolonged intake of flavanol-rich cocoa has been linked to cardiovascular health benefits, though it should be noted that this refers to raw cocoa and to a lesser extent, dark chocolate, since flavonoids degrade during cooking and alkalizing processes. Studies have found short term benefits in LDL cholesterol levels from dark chocolate consumption.

                more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_effects_of_chocolate
                carl's cave

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                • #9
                  It could be the magnesium in combination with the theobromine.

                  Role of magnesium in insulin action,... [Mol Aspects Med. 2003 Feb-Jun] - PubMed - NCBI
                  Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                  Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                  Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Leida View Post
                    I really like hot chocolate made with real cocoa powder, but since I don't do dairy, no luck now. Chocolate as in bars, dark or otherwise, I don't really care for. I'd rather eat fruit.
                    Try coconut milk and water to thin it out? Works pretty well. Coconut milk and coffee works even better. Om nom nom.
                    carl's cave

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                    • #11
                      I thought about it, and I like coconut milk in my smoothies & mushed cauliflower, but just can't really imagine doing coco-nutta yet. Once the winter hits us, perhaps. I drink my coffee black, and no other way.
                      My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                      When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                      • #12
                        Yes!
                        I eat small amounts of dark chocolate every day, and I do think all the factors...magnesium, theobromine, reduced stress levels contribute to health.
                        I blog :http://raisinggodzillas.blogspot.com/
                        Like me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/...17134571662261
                        "We have all the food groups- meat and chocolate".

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                        • #13
                          I started eating "baker's chocolate" -- completely unsweetened chocolate squares -- years ago to satisfy a serious chocolate tooth. Now, even a 90% bar tastes way too sweet and chocolate baked goods, ice cream, etc. rarely tempt. (OK, Papa Hayden's in Portland, Oregon could still do me in.)

                          I also put about 1/8 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder into the bottom of the coffee filter before the beans go in. Although nobody has guessed the secret ingredient, my dad once commented that it made the coffee taste "thicker."
                          __________________________________________
                          He not busy bein' born is busy dyin' ~ Bob Dylan

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                          • #14
                            I have 2 heaped tsp of 100% cocoa powder in a mug of hot water every night, specifically for heart health. Kicked the sugar habit many years ago so I have no problem with the taste. Similar to having black coffee. The stronger the better
                            Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

                            Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KWM View Post
                              I started eating "baker's chocolate" -- completely unsweetened chocolate squares -- years ago to satisfy a serious chocolate tooth. Now, even a 90% bar tastes way too sweet
                              Yep. Same here. The 90% stuff tastes too sweet. Not only that but bakers chocolate is a lot cheaper than all the fancy artisan type brands.

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