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Chocolate and Heart Disease

Chocolate and Heart Disease

We already know it’s considered an aphrodisiac and can increase levels of serotonin in the body. And at Care2, we touted the scientific evidence that declared it a stress-reliever. We’ve found it’s an excellent masquerade of the healthy vegetable in this delicious zucchini cake, and we made sure to celebrate it during its honorary month, February.

As you might have guessed, Care2 editors love chocolate and love to offer reasons to eat the stuff.

Thanks to a recent study by German researchers, here’s one more reason: small amounts of the magical substance can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

In the study, which analyzed the health and diet habits of 19,357 people aged 35 to 65 over ten years, participants who ate the most chocolate had lower blood pressure and were 39 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack than those who ate the least amount of chocolate.

Dr. Brian Buijsse, a nutritional epidemiologist who led the study, estimated that “if people in the group eating the least amount of chocolate increased their chocolate intake by 6 grams a day, 85 fewer heart attacks and strokes per 10,000 people could be expected to occur over a period of about 10 years.”

As with everything though, moderation is key. According to the researchers, six grams of chocolate is equivalent to about one small square of a 3.5 ounce chocolate bar.

Buijsse says that an increase of chocolate in a diet shouldn’t increase the total number of calories consumed. “Small amounts of chocolate may help to prevent heart disease, but only if it replaces other energy-dense foods, such as snacks, in order to keep body weight stable,” he said.

Read more: Conditions, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, High Blood Pressure, , ,

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Megan Zehnder

Megan is an editor and producer for Care2's Healthy Living. Her main priorities are to live simply and build meaningful relationships with the people in her life. She loves to write and talk about environmental issues, healthy living, and women's rights. Beyond that, her interests change daily, but eating and cooking vegetarian food is always a favorite.

139 comments

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11:07AM PDT on Sep 18, 2012

:-)

7:12PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

thank you!

6:40PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

thanks

6:40PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

thanks

8:44AM PST on Feb 11, 2012

ty

6:41AM PDT on Oct 1, 2011

thanks

6:43PM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

Chocolate in its essence and not having fatty cream added to it is a substance that can be good for you. Just make sure it is from people who are paid a decent wage and don't use tiny children to make their already rich pockets richer. For example, if somebody has to pick all day and they cannot pay their rent...WTF?

6:22PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

Fortunately I don't believe in everything i read.

5:17PM PST on Jan 28, 2011

To all those whining, complaining and disparaging the content of this article, chocolate has been shown to have stress-relieving and other healthful qualities that help the body including the heart. Like the article says: As with everything though, moderation is key. If you don't have self-control, are allergic to chocolate or believe chocolate is not healthy at all then don't consume it. Find something else that works for you.

2:27AM PST on Jan 25, 2011

oh i will print more chocolate cakes recipes ....Lols... nice articles anyway .. thanks for sharing!!!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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