Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Some Chocolate Each day Keeps Heart Disease at Bay

Don't you sometimes wish that the things that tasted the best could be just as good for us? I mean, that's not to say that healthy foods don't taste good; there are plenty that do, but why is it that medicine and the like taste so darn awful? Wouldn't it be awesome if we could eat stuff like chips, hamburgers and chocolate and be healthier for it? Well, while some of those foods may make you sicker, one of them is proving to be a heavy hitter in the health and disease prevention realm.

We've known for some time now that antioxidant-rich cocoa powder has the power to fight off certain illnesses like cancer and heart disease, but new research is making that point even clearer. In the past, the recommendation for daily chocolate consumption has been rather modest at about one ounce of minimum 70% dark chocolate per day, since chocolate is only part cocoa with the remainder as milk solids and fat. If we're not careful, we may end up eating way too much saturated fat and calories, since chocolate is so darn addictive and delicious. But chocolate addicts may be in luck once again, since it turns out that people who consume chocolate the most regularly tend to have lower rates of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke over all.

In the research, the data in 7 previous studies were re-analyzed to see how chocolate consumption might be beneficial to preventing cardiovascular events. Across the board, high-chocolate consumers beat out low-chocolate consumers when it came to heart health. They were nearly 40% less likely to experience a cardiovascular event and nearly 40% less likely to experience a stroke.

This good news does however, come with a warning. The researchers once again advise chocolate consumers to use caution and make wise choices when enjoying their cocoa-rich delicacies. The darker the chocolate with as little sugar and calories as possible, the better. We know that over consuming calories, sugar and fat can lead to obesity, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and subsequently heart disease.

So go on and have your ounce or so each day, maybe a little more from time to time, and really enjoy it. Not only will your heart be healthier for it, so will the rest of your body and soul!