Chocolate—Benefits, Facts and Myths

Some Things We Love Are Actually Good For Us. Chocolate is One of Them. Chocolate Lovers RejoiceChocolate-Assorted

Chocolate benefits your coronary health!

A study recently published for the first time online on in an article titled, Habitual Chocolate Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Among Healthy Men and Women, answered the prayers and wishes of many chocolate lovers worldwide. The findings show that of the participants, those who consumed the most chocolate had 23% fewer heart attacks and strokes than the people that ate the least amount of chocolate. So, yes, chocolate can be considered good for you … to an extent. While chocolate and its fats are beneficial to your coronary health, the sugar that is added to chocolate is definitely harmful. If you are going to live the dream and eat chocolate, we suggest that you eat super-dark chocolate, it is the healthiest.

Six Healthy Facts About Chocolate

  1. chocolate-enjoyDark chocolate contains a lot of antioxidants that will help the cardiovascular system by reducing your blood pressure.
  2. Eating dark chocolate every day reduces your risk of heart disease by almost 1/3.
  3. Dark chocolate has more cacao (the beans used to make chocolate) and less sugar than other chocolate, meaning that it is healthier than regular milk chocolate.
  4. The smell of chocolate increases your theta brain waves, bringing on a sense of relaxation.
  5. Eating dark chocolate widens your arteries and promotes a healthy blood flow, which in turn can prevent the buildup of artery blocking plaque.
  6. Flavonoids that are found in products containing cocoa not only have antioxidant properties, but anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effects that can reduce your risk of diabetes by improving your insulin sensitivity.

Five Myths About Chocolate

  1. People with diabetes have to give up chocolate. As stated above, dark chocolate can actually improve your insulin sensitivity in people that have normal and high blood chocolate-give-uppressure. It can also improve endothelial dysfunction in people that have diabetes. What people are usually surprised to find out is that chocolate has a low glycemic index. So, go ahead and eat chocolate … but always check with your doctor first.
  2. Chocolate raises bad cholesterol. Giving up chocolate to lower your LDL (also known as “bad cholesterol”) is a sacrifice many chocolate lovers hate making. It turns out, it is also an unnecessary sacrifice. Studies have shown that chocolate doesn’t raise bad cholesterol, and may actually lower cholesterol levels in some people. Yes, chocolate contains cocoa butter, which is high in saturated fat, but most of the fat in chocolate comes from stearic acid, which doesn’t act like saturated fat. And, besides, saturated fat isn’t bad for you anyway.
  3. Chocolate causes acne. Not true … not true at all, despite what most chocolate avoiding teens may tell you. Since the 1960s, studies have been unable to how any link between eating chocolate and acne. In fact, an extensive review in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that “… even large amounts of chocolate have not clinically exacerbated acne.”
  4. chocolate-patrick-rogerChocolate causes cavities and tooth decay. It was found in a study that pure table sugar had more of an effect on dental plaque than chocolate. A study from Osaka University in Japan showed that parts of the cocoa bean actually thwart tooth decay and harmful mouth bacteria. So, chew on that!
  5. Chocolate makes you gain weight. Well, it is obvious that if you stuff your face with gigantic hot fudge sundaes, or eat a dozen chocolate donuts, you run the risk of packing on the pounds, but a study that was funded by the National Institutes of Health found something promising for chocolate fanatics. It seems that consuming a small amount of chocolate each day, five days a week, is linked to a lower BMI, even if the person ate more calories and didn’t exercise more than any of the other participants in the study. Do you know what this means all you chocolate freaks? It means you can … and possibly should … make chocolate a part of your diet!

Again, it’s important to talk to your doctor before going overboard on the chocolate. It is also beneficial to keep your chocolate intake based on dark chocolates, preferably over 70%. Enjoy your life, enjoy your health, and enjoy your chocolate!

  2 comments for “Chocolate—Benefits, Facts and Myths

  1. Jim
    July 7, 2015 at 7:21 am

    From personal experience I can say that switching to very dark chocolate ( >= 85% cocoa; <= 5gms sugar per serving) takes a little time. I also can say that it is well worth it. I get a much greater sense of satiety from the high cocoa low sugar taste, so much that I don't need to eat much to enjoy the rich chocolate flavor. When Halloween comes around and I try any of my kids' bounty, I find regular milk chocolate unappetizing and almost sickeningly sweet.

    • July 7, 2015 at 9:07 am

      To be palatable almost all ‘chocolates’ have some kind of lecithin to help with what they call ‘mouth feel.’ Look at that; for some this is their main source of soy.
      Many of my diabetics who ‘cure themselves’ tell me that eating sweets after the ‘cure’ can actually make them feel very sick; and quickly too. The slow lifetime accommodation to the taste of ‘sweet’ is actually an acquired one, but one, once acquired, very difficult to exterminate. Dark chocolate! Yum! Dr. Mike

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