When we can report that eating more chocolate is a healthy habit you know it is a great day. When we can share something as important as reducing your risk for developing heart disease and simultaneously get to suggest you eat more chocolate ,the attorneys here at Wallace and Graham P.A. are having a sweet day. Personal research here at the firm has established that there probably isn’t a more magical substance or ingredient on earth than sweet, dark brown chocolate which has brought smiles to the faces of many for more than 3,000 years.
While the attorneys at Wallace & Graham often have to focus your attention on the latest cancer treatments, latest asbestos exposure issues, and latest treatment modalities and other necessary but heavy topics, today, for a moment, we can talk about a study that taste good. We get to talk about an “Eureka’ moment in reducing cardiovascular disease with chocolate, yes the consumption of chocolate!!
Today chocolate is consumed in multiple forms such as in candy, cookies, drinks, and cakes — a development that had raised the question and caused a debate among scientists, doctors, cooks and candy makers about what that consumption of liquid dark gold is doing to our health.
Common sense tells us that too much of something so fatty and full of calories is a bad thing but a large number of studies have surprisingly found that dark chocolate can reduce the risk of death from a heart attack, decrease blood pressure and help those with chronic fatigue syndrome.
The question for many chocolate lovers has been at what point are you having too much of a good thing. That is, is there an optimal “dose” for chocolate eating?
A new study published in the journal Heart on June 15, 2015 looked at the effect of consuming chocolate on long-term health. It involved over 25,000 volunteers and concluded that the answer to how much chocolate can be good for you is — a lot. Study participants in the high consumption group — those who ate 15 to 100 grams of chocolate a day in the form of everything from Mars bars to hot cocoa — had lower heart disease and stroke risk than those who did not consume the confection.
For comparison a 0.2 oz. Hershey’s kisses Milk Chocolate has approximate 22 calories per piece while a 1.9 oz. 3 Musketeers chocolate bar has 240 calories. A hundred grams is equivalent to about two classic Hershey’s bars. In terms of calories you’re looking at 500-535.
To keep this into perspective, the Department of Agriculture recommends men consume 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day depending on their height, body composition and whether they are sedentary or active.
This association of the decreased risk with increased consumption in the study was confirmed even after researchers took into account a wide range of risk factors, such as age, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity and other variables.
“The main message is that you don’t need to worry too much if you are only moderately eating chocolate,” Phyo Myint, a professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Aberdeen and one of the study’s lead authors, said in an interview.
Higher levels of consumption were associated with a large number of other positives in the study: lower BMI, waist: hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, inflammatory proteins. As crazy as this sounds but when you compare the consumer of chocolates with those who ate no chocolate, those who ate high amounts saw an 11 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 25 percent lower risk of associated death. Candy stores should frame the study and put it on the wall as this is “good stuff”.
The study also noted that more of the participants in the study ate milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate which has long been considered healthier. This might suggest that beneficial health effects may apply to both, the researchers said.
“Our results are somewhat surprising since the expectation was that benefits of chocolate consumption would be mainly associated with dark chocolate rather than the commercially available products generally used in a British population which are high in sugar content and fat,” the study’s author wrote.
Myint explained that chocolate is full of flavonoid antioxidants and that previous studies have shown that intake of chocolate results in improved function of the endothelium, or inner lining of the blood vessels. Chocolate has also been shown to increase HDL or “good” cholesterol and decrease LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
One other factor was noted and that was that many of the chocolate bars that were consumed by participants contained nuts as an ingredient and which, by themselves, are known to be good for heart health.
While the study found that there’s no need to avoid chocolate in your diet to protect your cardiovascular health, one should also not run out to the candy store and pig out on a pile of chocolate bars. All things need to be balanced.
Charles Mueller, clinical assistant professor of nutrition at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, points out that there’s no definitive conclusion about cause and effect and that it’s possible that chocolate eaters engage in other behaviors or eat other foods that are good for the heart. There is still more to learn and hopefully we will all receive the invite to participate.
“Cocoa beans are not unlike red peppers, green peppers and broccoli and stuff like that. They are full of phytochemicals that are good for you. But if you are overweight, and you are thinking of protecting yourself by eating chocolate you are being kind of silly. Chocolate is just one small element in a full range of a good diet,” Mueller said.
The attorneys at Wallace & Graham are always staying up on the latest developments in Research and thought its clients and friends would enjoy this latest development. Any questions please call us at 1-800-849-5291 for a no obligation free consultation at our office or your home.
If you want to read the study simply go to the link below and the original article published June 15, 2015 is available for free to read.
Source: Heart published online June 15, 2015
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