It May Decrease Inflammation
During times of stress, the body creates inflammation, which may cause or worsen heart disease. But dark chocolate stops this chain reaction, according to recent research. Men in the study ate either a dark chocolate bar or one that looked the same but didnt have the healthy substances found in dark chocolate. Then they took a stressful test. Afterwards, blood tests showed that the men who got the real dark chocolate had lower levels of inflammation markers than those who got the fake kind.
Chocolate Contains Healthy Ingredients
Chocolate includes flavonoids, antioxidants, and flavanols, all of which are very good for you. Flavonoids and antioxidants help rid the body of toxins and slows down oxidation, which can lead to the formation of plaque within arteries. Flavanols have the power to lower bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to vital organs. It also prevents the formation of blood clots. Chocolate also contains magnesium, copper, potassium, and calcium.
How To Incorporate Chocolate Into A Healthy Diet
Yes, chocolate is good for you, but its important to keep serving size in mind. Approximately 6.7 grams of dark chocolate per day is an ideal amount for reaping its health benefits, according to the American Society of Nutrition. Thats roughly one or two squares per day or one chocolate bar per week.
Its true! Eating chocolate is actually good for you. Moderation is key, however. If you consume small amounts of dark chocolate on a regular basis, you can take advantage of all the health benefits that chocolate provides without eating unhealthy amounts of sugar and saturated fat.
~Heres to Your Healthy Ascension!
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What Not To Eat When You Have High Cholesterol
Here are 4 high-cholesterol foods that can negatively impact your health.
- Fried Foods. Fried foods Ã¢ such as deep-fried meats and cheese sticks Ã¢ are high-cholesterol and should be avoided whenever possible.
- Fast Food.
Here are some of the best morning foods for improving your numbers.
Dark Chocolate Increases Hdl
Eating high-cocoa polyphenol-rich chocolate is effective at increasing HDL in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Diabetic Medicine.
In this study of only 12 participants, researchers prescribed adding 45 grams of chocolate to their diet for 8 weeks. Half of the participants received the polyphenol-rich high-cocoa chocolate and half had high-cocoa chocolate.
Results show the low polyphenol chocolate produced no changes. The high polyphenol group had a significant increase in HDL and a decrease in total cholesterol.
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Which Dark Chocolate Is Good For Cholesterol
To make the most of adding chocolate to your diet to lower your cholesterol, choose products with a high cocoa content that have the least amount of processing, which lowers the flavonoid content. Products with high amounts of cocoa are proud of it, and percentages are prominently displayed on the label.
Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
In addition to heart health, dark chocolate is also linked to other wellness improvements, including the following:
- Lower body mass index
- Enhanced eyesight
- UV protection
Not a fan of dark chocolate? Try swapping out almonds instead. Almonds have been proven to possess many of the same benefits as dark chocolate, when eating one-third cup.
Limiting your intake of LDL cholesterol can help keep your arteries free from cholesterol buildup and lower your risk of heart disease. By incorporating dark chocolate into your daily nutrition, you can improve your well-being and create a heart-healthy diet.
Want to learn more about your heart health? Take our free, online heart risk assessment today.
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The Best Way To Consume Dark Chocolate
When choosing which type of dark chocolate to eat, a higher percentage of cacao is best. “The more cacao, the more healthy nutrients, the less sugar, and the less other potentially negative ingredients,” Hunnes says.
In particular, 80% cacao is the minimum that Hunnes recommends for achieving health benefits. Hunnes says that you can have up to 20 to 30 grams per day of 80% dark chocolate, though if it’s a lower percentage, you may want to eat a smaller amount each day.
To make your dark chocolate intake even healthier, she also suggests choosing non-dairy versions or trying cacao nibs, which are roasted cacao beans. Hunnes also advises limiting your consumption of less healthy sweets, like milk chocolate or white chocolate, as they contain higher amounts of sugar and fat.
Is Dark Chocolate Good For High Triglycerides
Likewise, people ask, can you eat dark chocolate if you have high cholesterol?
Consuming dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease. In a controlled study, cocoa powder was found to significantly decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol in men. It also increased HDL and lowered total LDL for those with high cholesterol .
One may also ask, what drugs can be used to lower triglycerides? Classes of medications that are appropriate for the management of major triglyceride elevations include fibric acid derivatives, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids. High doses of a strong statin also lower triglycerides, by as much as approximately 50%.
Also know, how can I lower my triglycerides quickly?
13 Simple Ways to Lower Your Triglycerides
What are the best foods to eat to lower triglycerides?
Cold water fish, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, help lower triglycerides. Examples of omega-3 rich fish include salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, tuna, and halibut. Other foods that help lower triglycerides include fiber-rich foods such as oats, flax meal, and beans.
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In Moderation Dark Chocolate Is A Heart
When you think of heart-healthy foods, chocolate may not make your list right away. But this scrumptious treat dark chocolate in particular has been touted for many years to have health benefits. So is dark chocolate actually healthy?
Studies show that dark chocolate when it is not loaded with sugar and saturated fat is indeed a heart-healthy chocolate treat and more.
Dark chocolate is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants. Studies show it can help reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease.
Eating chocolate is healthy when it is dark chocolate, says Poulina Uddin, MD, a cardiologist at Scripps Clinic. Studies show that eating a small amount of dark chocolate regularly can benefit your health.
Moderation is key, Dr. Uddin continues. Dark chocolate, like other chocolates, is still high in calories and can lead to weight gain. But in small amounts it can fit into a well-balanced diet.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are commonly found in fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds including cocoa beans from which chocolate is processed. They help fight inflammation and protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are byproducts of natural biological processes in our body, such as breathing and breaking down food, or stem from an outside source, such as tobacco smoke, toxins or pollutants. They can damage cells, proteins and DNA, and help trigger diseases.
What do studies show?
The darker the dark chocolate, the better
Powerful Source Of Antioxidants
ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. Its a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods.
Basically, researchers set a bunch of free radicals against a sample of a food and see how well the antioxidants in the food can disarm the free radicals.
The biological relevance of ORAC values is questioned, as its measured in a test tube and may not have the same effect in the body.
However, its worth mentioning that raw, unprocessed cocoa beans are among the highest-scoring foods that have been tested.
Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols and catechins, among others.
One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate had more antioxidant activity, polyphenols, and flavanols than any other fruits tested, which included blueberries and acai berries .
Cocoa and dark chocolate have a wide variety of powerful antioxidants. In fact, they have way more than most other foods.
The bioactive compounds in cocoa may improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.
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Can Dark Chocolate Lower Your Cholesterol
Could it really be true that indulging in a delicious, organic dark chocolate bar lowers cholesterol? If you have high cholesterol, your dreams may have come true.
Dark chocolate is one of many foods that have been shown to lower cholesterol in clinical trials. But, that doesn’t mean you should eat it with every meal.
Eating dark chocolate should be part of a change toward a healthier lifestyle if you’re serious about lowering your cholesterol. Give yourself some dark chocolate as a reward for eating a healthy diet, losing weight, and reaching your exercise goals.
Exercise Eat Healthy Stay Slim Lower Your Stress
This to-do list is great for a healthy heart, but it may not sound like fun. Thank goodness, theres chocolate! Hundreds of studies have found that chocolatespecifically, dark chocolate keeps the heart and blood vessels in good shape. Here are some of the ways this delicious treat helps the heart:
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Q& a ‘if Cholesterol Is So Bad Why Do We Have It’
Why do we need cholesterol if it can be so bad for our bodies?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver and used to build cell walls, create a protective glove around nerves and to make other chemicals such as hormones.
Cholesterol gets round our bodies by combining with protein to form a protective coating around tiny balls of fat absorbed from our diet termed lipoproteins. The purpose of this coating is to hold fat together, so we dont have oil slicks of fat in our bloodstream.
The two lipoproteins usually measured are low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein . LDL is like a juggernaut big clumps of fat and protein that trundle along the arteries and can only be cleared from our system by the liver. As it travels, fat can break away and enter the artery walls, becoming embedded. This build-up called atherosclerosis causes artery walls to narrow so blood cannot get through, resulting in blood clots that can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
HDL is known as good cholesterol. It is much smaller in size and hoovers up fat deposits from the artery wall as it moves around the body. This is why its important to know how much LDL and HDL are in your blood, as the ratio between these two types of fat is what really matters when it comes to risk.
What causes levels to rise?
How is cholesterol measured?
Good news: You do not have to give up on steak, red wine and dessert to lower your cholesterol
How often do I need to get a test?
The Facts About Saturated Fat In Chocolate
Saturated fats are most commonly found in meat products, but they are also found in dairy products and some plant oils, such as coconut oil and palm oil. There are several types of saturated fats, and all of them have been linked with an increased risk of heart disease.
While chocolate does contain a small amount of bad saturated fat, it also contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Whats more, the saturated fats found in chocolate have not been found to increase cholesterol levels, as reported by the Cleveland Clinic. All in all, chocolate contains a healthier blend of fats that, if consumed in moderation, can actually be good for you.
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Chocolate For Cholesterol Reduction:
Chocolates, especially, dark chocolates contain high amounts of 18-carbon stearic acid. Stearic acids are known to increase the bad cholesterol in the blood.
However, the stearic acid saturated with 18-carbon atoms found in chocolates has been shown to lower plasma and LDL cholesterol level in blood streams.
Thus, chocolates with high content of 18-carbon stearic acid reduce cholesterol levels in the blood and can be consumed as a substitute for high carbohydrates snacks like potato chips, muffins, bagels, etc.
Several doctors recommend consumption of chocolate for cholesterol reduction.
A Dark Chocolate A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
via target.com. Dark chocolate should be intense, decadent and not overly sweet. Chocolove delivered on all these counts with their Strong Dark Chocolate . Testers loved this chocolate bar because the flavor was wonderfully deep with some coffee-like notes and a shockingly creamy texture that left everyone wanting to savor just one more square.
Dark chocolate/cocoa effective for cholesterol improvements: Meta-analysis. Consuming polyphenol-rich dark chocolate or cocoa products may reduce total and LD cholesterol levels, but has no effect on HDL levels, according to a meta-analysis of 10 clinical trials.
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Do Small Amounts Of Dark Chocolate Contain Enough Flavanols
Chocolate is high in calories because of its sugar and fat content, so if you eat too much of it you could put on weight.
Studies have been carried out to find out whether small amounts of chocolate, eaten often, contain enough flavanols to have similar health benefits to cocoa.
A review of the evidence in 2016 suggested that a daily 20g portion of chocolate would need to contain at least 200mg of flavanols and 100mg of epicatechin to have a similar effect to cocoa. The processing methods used in the confectionary industry mean that 20g of chocolate does not contain this amount of flavanols so cant be considered to have the same benefits as cocoa.
Although it contains less than cocoa, dark chocolate does contain more flavanols than milk chocolate, while white chocolate contains no cocoa and no flavanols at all.
Cocoa Reduces Arterial Inflammation
Since cocoa consumption is associated with improving the heart health and lowering cardiovascular risk, it can be said that cocoa also helps in improving the functioning of inner walls of blood vessels.
Intake of cocoa reduces the stiffness of arterial walls and the risk of endothelial dysfunction.
It opens up the arteries and enhances the process of vasodilation .
A clinical trial conducted on adults reported that cocoa improves endothelial function when consumed in either solid dark chocolate form or liquid form.
Obese people may also find a significant reduction in their blood pressure, which is good for the heart.
What does this Mean? Cocoa reduces the swelling in arteries which is caused due to excess build-up of plaque. It reduces inflammation in the arteries.
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Raises Hdl And Protects Ldl From Oxidation
Consuming dark chocolate can improve several important risk factors for heart disease.
In a controlled study, cocoa powder was found to significantly decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol in men. It also increased HDL and lowered total LDL for those with high cholesterol .
Oxidized LDL means that the LDL cholesterol has reacted with free radicals.
This makes the LDL particle itself reactive and capable of damaging other tissues, such as the lining of the arteries in your heart.
It makes perfect sense that cocoa lowers oxidized LDL. It contains an abundance of powerful antioxidants that do make it into the bloodstream and protect lipoproteins against oxidative damage (
However, dark chocolate also contains sugar, which can have the opposite effect.
Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity.
It May Reduce Your Chances Of Having A Stroke
Eating dark chocolate may lower your risk for a stroke, which happens when a blood vessel carrying oxygen to the brain is blocked by a clot or bursts. In a 2012 Finnish study of more than 37,000 men, those who ate about 2 ounces of dark chocolate a week lowered their risk of stroke compared to those who didnt eat chocolate.
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Effects Of Chocolate On Blood Vessels:
Chocolate and cholesterol are both known to negatively impact the human heart. However, the consumption of naturally occurring cocoa and dark chocolates in moderation lowers plasma cholesterol in the blood.
Moreover, polyphenols, the main antioxidants found in cocoa and dark chocolates neutralizes reactive oxygen in our blood and lead to LDL oxidation. This is very beneficial for our blood vessels.
Is The Saturated Fat In Chocolate As Bad As The Fat In Meat
Chocolate contains a healthier blend of fats than meats do. But dont go overboard.
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Q. Eating dark chocolate is encouraged for its health benefits. Ive been buying chocolate with 75 percent to 90 percent cocoa content. But the label notes a high amount of saturated fat. Is this as harmful as the saturated fat in meat?
A. The fat in chocolate is not as harmful as the fat in meat, said Alice Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer U.S.D.A. Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. It comes from cocoa butter and is made of equal parts of oleic acid, a heart healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, and stearic and palmitic acids. Stearic and palmitic acids are forms of saturated fat, which has been linked to heart disease, but stearic acid does not raise cholesterol, and palmitic fat makes up only a third of the fat in chocolate.
One study that garnered a lot of attention, sponsored in part by the candy company Mars, found that older adults who consumed a drink rich in cocoa flavanols for three months performed better on a memory test than others who drank a low-flavanol mix.
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