Heart Health And Blood Pressure
Flavanols are a type of polyphenol in chocolate, and theobromine is another compound that occurs naturally in cocoa.
While many studies support these links, scientists still recommend further research into how these substances may help support heart health.
The Benefits Of Eating Chocolate
- Combat depression. Eating chocolate significantly increases levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and well-being, which is very low in depressed states.
- Increased libido. Chocolate is an amazing natural aphrodisiac, and its intake is linked to libido levels, especially for women.
- Rich in magnesium: This mineral is found in cocoa, and chocolate is an excellent antioxidant.
- Keep your heart healthy: In addition to all the benefits you may experience, chocolate keeps your heart strong and healthy thanks to its high flavonoid content.
- This article is purely informative not authorized for any medical prescription. If you have any illness or discomfort, you are advised to consult your doctor.
It Also Helps Lower Risk Of Diabetes Heart Disease
by Candy Sagon, AARP Bulletin
More good news for chocolate lovers: A new Harvard study finds that eating a small square of dark chocolate daily can help lower blood pressure for people with hypertension.
The study joins the growing research into the heart-healthy benefits of flavonoids, compounds in unsweetened chocolate that cause dilation of the blood vessels. The Harvard study was announced today in Atlanta at the American Heart Association’s science session on cardiovascular disease.
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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.
How Much Dark Chocolate Should You Eat Each Day
There are no official recommendations for how much dark chocolate you should eat to get health benefits. The key is moderation.
Spencer Hyman, chocolate expert and founder of ethical craft chocolate company Cocoa Runners,recommends a less is more approach.
Try and train yourself to savor rather than to scarf, he explains in an upcoming ZOE Science Podcast. Its much better to have than scarf some low-fat vanilla yogurt, which has actually got seven times the amount of sugar in it than a dark chocolate bar would have.
In scientific studies, participants usually consume small or moderate amounts of chocolate.
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Theo Salted Almond 70% Dark Chocolate
Per 1 oz : 141 calories, 11 g fat , 47 mg sodium, 12.5 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 2.5 g protein
We like this entry-level bar because the bitterness doesn’t hit you the way that it does with 80% or higher cacao bars. “The higher the percentage of cacao, the better, but you’ll still get some health benefits at ,” says registered dietician, Isabel Smith, MD, RD, CDN. The almonds also offer an added health boost thanks to their combination of plant-based protein, fiber, and healthy fats, which work together to keep hunger and cravings at bay.
What Is The Healthiest Dark Chocolate
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Dark Chocolate Health Benefits
Good quality dark chocolate offers plenty of potential health benefits. Unfortunately, chocolate is also the source of a lot of health myths, and scientists face challenges when studying it, as some of its ingredients may counteract its benefits.
Professor Tim Spector scientific co-founder of ZOE and internationally renowned researcher at Kings College London explains in an upcoming ZOE Science podcast that chocolate comes from a plant that is fermented to give it great complexity, so its a mixture of fiber and protein, and lots of essential nutrients and defense chemicals called polyphenols.
How exactly do these molecules in dark chocolate affect your body? Read on for our top 9 health benefits of dark chocolate.
Raw Cows Milk And Foodborne Illness
Thinking about switching to raw cows milk, also known as unpasteurized milk? It has about the same amount of calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol as regular dairy milk, and some claim it has even more nutrients. But pregnant women and children should avoid drinking raw milk and eating dairy products such as cheese made from raw milk, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Since raw milk doesnt go through the process of pasteurization that kills potentially harmful bacteria like salmonella, listeria, and E. coli people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk of getting foodborne illness from it, though it has the potential to sicken anyone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to contain bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses than pasteurized dairy products.
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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.
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
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Trader Joes Chocolate Whole Milk
Some of Trader Joes products are so good that theyve developed cult followings. Combine their reasonable prices and their high-quality products and that phenomenon shouldnt be a surprise to anyone. Trader Joes Chocolate Whole Milk might not yet have a cult following but it surely deserves one.
Where this Trader Joes beverage shines brightest is its consistency. The chocolate milks thickness will titillate your tongue, and its smoothness will coat your throat in happiness. While its chocolate flavor takes a backseat, its still fantastic. Chocolate lovers wont hesitate to give this chocolate milk two thumbs up. Factor in its price tag, and this drink is very, very close to deserving the top spot on this list.
Even if you dont feel like forming a cult, you should at least add Trader Joes Chocolate Whole Milk to the list of this stores products you should try before youre six feet under the ground.
Russell Stover Sugar Free Dark Chocolate Mint
Per 1 oz : 140 calories, 11 g fat , 6.5 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 12.5 g sugar alcohols, 2 g protein
According to the USDA’s new Dietary Guidelines, we should be eating no more than 50 grams of sugar a day for optimal health. So it’s completely understandable if you’re trying to reel in your sweet tooth a bitjust don’t use sugar-free sweets as a crutch. Instead of sugar, manufacturers add in artificial sweeteners like Splenda and sugar alcohols like maltitol, which can have a laxative effect if eaten in excess. If you’re looking for a treat that will make your taste buds singand not send you running straight for the bathroomskip this bar.
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Chocolate For Health: Perspectives
Some of the findings echo that of other research, says Joe Vinson, PhD, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton and a long-time researcher on antioxidants in foods. He reviewed the findings.
“The fact that white chocolate makes the skin blood flow slow down is newsworthy,” he says. The message to stay healthy, he says, is: “Don’t eat fat and sugar without antioxidants.”
The finding about bloomed chocolate is reassuring if you’re wondering whether to eat old chocolate, Vinson says. He says it may look bad but that it still has active antioxidants.
Other studies have found lowering of blood pressure with dark chocolate, says Eric Ding, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist and instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He reviewed the findings.
The fact that Hong did not, he says, could simply be because of the small size of the study.
“The LDL decrease and the HDL increase are consistent with previous research,” Ding tells WebMD.
The blood sugar finding is newer, he says.
Hong reminds chocolate lovers that moderation is key.
These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the “peer review” process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.
Foods To Lower Cholesterol In Your Body
A high level of cholesterol in your body is one of the primary causes of increased risk of heart diseases.Bad cholesterol causes fatty deposits to develop in the blood vessels that can block blood flow and can lead to heart stroke or heart attack.However, these five foods can lower your cholesterol levels and help you lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
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How Does Chocolate Help Lower Blood Cholesterol
Everyone probably thinks that chocolate has the biggest negative impact on blood cholesterol levels because of its high sugar content. In fact, just 100 grams of chocolate can reveal more than 500 calories intake, mainly due to the presence of fat in the production of this cocoa sugar.
However, there are some data that are cause for optimism. One-third of these fats present in chocolate contains the so-called stearic acid, a component that has a direct effect on lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, it should be noted that chocolate contains high levels of monounsaturated oleic acid, which also significantly lowers what is commonly known as LDL cholesterol.
In conclusion, it is concluded that these two acids not only lower blood cholesterol levels but also have antioxidant properties that can help prevent the formation of blood clots in veins and arteries and prevent certain diseases such as atherosclerosis.
We hope you have realized the great benefits of consuming chocolate. However, do not be too spoiled by its consumption. And from here on, we recommend that you do not consume more than 40 grams per day so as not to neglect our figure and always choose dark chocolate. From here on, be prepared and enjoy chocolate in a healthy and delicious way.
High Cholesterol: Nutritionist Reveals Top Prevention Tips
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Cholesterol is not intrinsically harmful, in fact, your body needs it to build healthy cells. High levels of cholesterol are harmful, however, because it causes fatty deposits to develop in your blood vessels. This increases a persons risk of heart disease, a major cause of death in the UK and worldwide. Fortunately, by adding these four delicious foods in your daily diet your risk can be significantly reduced.
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Search Strategy And Study Selection
We searched MEDLINE , CENTRAL and the ClinicalTrials.gov website to identify randomized controlled trials examining the effect of dark chocolate or cocoa-containing beverages on blood lipid profile. Our search was restricted to papers published in the English language. For MEDLINE search, we used the MeSH term cacao or the text words cacao, flavonoids or chocolate cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL and TGs, cholesterol. The search was limited to the criteria clinical trials, English and human. CENTRAL and the ClinicalTrials.gov website were searched using chocolate, cocoa or cacao as free terms without further restrictions applied to the search. Inspection of the reference list of all identified articles was also conducted. The latter method was repeated until all potentially relevant articles from these sources were identified. Retrieved studies were included if they met the following criteria: were investigating flavanol-rich cocoa products had a randomized controlled parallel-arm or crossover design included at least 14 subjects, 18 years and older and reported baseline and end of intervention mean and standard deviation values of lipid measurements for the active and control groups.
Dark Chocolate Is High In Flavonoids
Chocolate has over 300 naturally occurring chemicals within it. The most well-known include caffeine, sugar, and cocoa.
One of the lesser-known chemicals in chocolate are flavonoids. Flavonoids are also in red wine and have been found to lower LDL cholesterol levels as well as exert a protective effect against coronary heart disease.
Additionally, one-third of the fat content found in chocolate is in the form of stearic acid. Although it is a saturated fat, stearic acid does not appear to raise cholesterol levels and according to a review published in 2005, may actually lower them.
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Alter Eco Dark Blackout 85% Organic Cacao
Per 1 oz : 170 calories, 15 g fat , 10 g carbs, 3.5 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 2 g protein
One thing to watch for when buying chocolate is the sugar contenteven when you’re shopping for dark. That’s because consuming too much sweet stuff can increase your risk of serious health problems like diabetes and cancer, not to mention, it commonly leads to energy crashes. “Aim for 10 to 15 grams of sugar or less per serving,” suggests Smith. And more often than not, a typical serving size on the package surpasses the single ounce we recommend. This Alter Eco bar has only 4 grams per ounce and 6 grams per serving, making it a solid choice. Dialing down portions of sugary foods is one of the best ways to lose 10 pounds fast.
May Reduce Heart Disease Risk
The compounds in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL.
In the long term, this should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, resulting in a lower risk of heart disease.
In fact, several long-term observational studies show a fairly drastic improvement.
In a study of 470 older men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of death from heart disease by 50% over 15 years .
Another study revealed that eating chocolate two or more times per week lowered the risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries by 32%. Eating chocolate less frequently had no effect .
Yet another study showed that eating dark chocolate more than five times per week lowered the risk of heart disease by 57% .
A 2017 clinical trial found that subjects who consumed almonds with or without dark chocolate showed improved LDL cholesterol levels .
Of course, these four studies are observational, so its unclear exactly if it was the chocolate that reduced the risk.
However, since the biological process is known , its plausible that regularly eating dark chocolate may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Observational studies show a drastic reduction in heart disease risk among those who consume the most chocolate.
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Do You Like Chocolate
As you can see, there are many cardiovascular benefits to eating dark chocolate. Not only is it lower in sugar than low-fat cocoa, but it is also rich in antioxidants. Of course, its easy to increase your intake of saturated fat, sugar and calories, so be sure to consume it in moderation, as long as you dont exceed the recommended 50 or 70 grams per day to ensure the benefits.
Chocolate is a nutritious and healthy food with great benefits for heart health. In fact, did you know that it is good for lowering cholesterol? Lets find out why.
Hypercholesterolemia is on the rise in men and women of all ages, especially considering the increase in obesity in children and adolescents. So what is high cholesterol? It is a condition that results from the accumulation of lipids and fats in all the arteries and veins of our body, and it can have a very negative impact on our health.
It can lead to other more serious cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure and heart attacks. In this case, the best thing we can do to avoid high cholesterol is to have a balanced and healthy diet with a variety of vitamins and minerals, which are abundant in vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish.