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)
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
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...
Observational study = needs actual lab testing. Otherwise, there are too many confounding factors.
That said, I love cooking with cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
I don't think the sugar is a big deal. A 90% bar has about the same amount of sugar as an apple.
Originally Posted by Kristy2078
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.
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.
Originally Posted by otzi
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
Try coconut milk and water to thin it out? Works pretty well. Coconut milk and coffee works even better. Om nom nom.
Originally Posted by Leida