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Moderate chocolate consumption may help reduce heart disease risk

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According to research, consuming chocolate at least once a week is associated with an 8% lower risk of heart disease. The study indicates that chocolate helps keep the blood vessels of the heart healthy.

Research has previously shown that chocolate is beneficial for the lining of blood vessels and for blood pressure. The researchers wanted to find out whether the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply the heart with blood, are affected by chocolate consumption.

They analyzed studies from the past 50 years looking at the link between chocolate consumption and coronary artery disease, which is when the coronary arteries become blocked. The analysis consisted of 6 studies involving 336,289 individuals reporting their chocolate consumption.

During an average follow-up of about 9 years, 14,043 of the study participants developed coronary artery disease and 4,667 of them had a heart attack. a sudden blockage.

Compared to eating chocolate less than once a week, eating chocolate more than once a week was linked to an 8% lower risk of coronary artery disease.

Chocolate has heart-healthy nutrients, including stearic acid, polyphenols, methylxanthines and flavonoids that can help reduce inflammation and increase good HDL cholesterol.

The study did not look at whether a specific type of chocolate is more beneficial or whether there is a perfect portion size. While chocolate shows promise for the prevention of coronary artery disease, more research is needed to determine what type and amount of chocolate should be recommended.

While it’s not clear how much chocolate is optimal, the researchers cautioned against overeating. Although the coronary arteries appear to be protected by consuming moderate amounts of chocolate, large amounts are unlikely to provide protection. The fat, milk, sugar and calories in commercially available products should be taken into account, especially in obese and diabetic individuals.

A limitation of the study is that it did not take into account other foods and drinks the subjects consumed, or how much exercise they received. It’s certainly possible that study participants who consumed more chocolate had healthier diets or better physical fitness, which could be why they were less likely to develop coronary artery disease.

Natural Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Infographic

Image source – hersheyland

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