Watch the video and learn the heart health benefits of chocolate — to lower your cholesterol level…
Chocolate Benefits: Lower Blood Pressure, Raise HDL Cholesterol Level
The following Chocolate for Heart Health FAQ is seen in Joy Bauer’s Food Cures book. Find out how dark chocolate helps in raising HDL cholesterol level and its effects in lowering the LDL cholesterol.
I can’t tell you how happy I was when I read that chocolate may help improve blood pressure…is it true?
Joy Bauer says:
Chocolate Flavanoids: To Raise HDL, Lower LDL Cholesterol Discovery
Yes, but with limitations. Scientists have discovered that the antioxidant flavonoids in chocolate can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve the elasticity of blood vessels, increase HDL, and limit the negative effects of LDL cholesterol.
Dark chocolate contains more than double the amount of flavonoids as milk chocolate, and — another strike against it — the milk may stop the intestines from absorbing the flavonoids.
So if you’re going to eat chocolate, choose a variety that is at least 60% dark chocolate.
Of course, chocolate is also rich with calories and fat that will lead to weight gain if you overdo it, so make sure that you eat chocolate only in 1-ounce snack-sized portions … and remember to account for the extra 150 calories in your daily calorie allotment.
Source: Joy Bauer, Food Cures, p.138
Dr. Sinatra: Dark Chocolate Heart Health Benefits
Dr. Sinatra says:
The researchers found that dark chocolate has a positive impact on platelet activity similar to a baby aspirin! They identified that dark chocolate has a strong antioxidant effect, is “endothelial cell friendly,” and causes relaxation of the inner lining of blood vessels…..
Now, with all this favorable research, do we have a license to eat chocolate at will? Sorry. Remember that chocolate contains sugars, caffeine, and trans fatty acids. As in all things, moderation is the key.
If you have considered chocolate and cocoas an absolute no-no, it’s time to reevaluate. The dark chocolate health benefits are increasingly clear and these foods can be consumed safely on a limited basis. But if you’re the kind of person to sit down with a large bag of M&Ms and scarf them while watching a movie, you’re overdoing a good thing. You’ll do yourself more harm than good with such habits.
Dark Chocolate Heart Health Benefits Not For Everyone
An additional caution is that dark chocolate can act as a trigger-food or stimulant for people with an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). And, if you’re diabetic, you must factor in the blood sugar problems that any sweet can cause and decide if chocolate is safe for you. The dark chocolate health benefits are not for everyone.
For the rest of you, the next time you want to have that dark chocolate bar, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just savor, enjoy, and know that you’re practicing good healthy heart nutrition. You might even have more warm, fuzzy feelings toward others (especially if they gave you the chocolate).