Eat your heart out: Health benefits of chocolate

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013. Filed under H&F.

They say chocolate can mend a broken heart, but many people may be surprised to learn that it actually can.

According to Clevelandclinic.org, chocolate has been gaining a lot of media attention because of its potential benefits for cardiovascular health, and claims have been made that chocolate may be beneficial for our health.

This website shows that regular chocolate eaters actually have lower blood pressures, lower levels of LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.

These positive results are directly related to the antioxidant like qualities of the cocoa bean.

The cocoa bean is rich in flavonoids, which help protect plants from harmful toxins. 100 percent cacao is the healthiest because it is the least processed chocolate, but this type of chocolate is extremely bitter and works better when it is used in baked goods.

When we consume these flavonoids, they seem to have a similar effect and we gain this antioxidant power.

The main type of flavonoids found in cocoa beans are called flavanols, and they influence our vascular health by improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure and making blood more able to clot.

Before you go running out to 7-Eleven to buy a Reese’s Cup or a Twix, it is important to note that not all types of chocolate are healthy.

Despite claims that dark chocolate is better for our health, it actually depends on how the chocolate is processed.

When chocolate is processed, flavanols are lost.

The more heavily processed, the less flavanols will be found in the final product.

Most of the chocolate treats that we love to consume are highly processed.

However, now that awareness of this knowledge is growing, manufacturers are looking for ways to preserve the flavanols in chocolate through the processing course.

Although this is great news, there is still the issue of the fat content in chocolate. In reality, it’s not a problem if you make your chocolate choices wisely.

The fats in chocolate are mostly monounsaturated, or “healthy fats” that are also found in olive oils.

Chocolate also has stearic acid in it. Although it is a saturated fat, it seems to have little effect on the raising or lowering of cholesterol levels.

The true culprits of unhealthy fats in chocolate treats are the other things within the chocolate like wafers, marshmallows and caramel.

Since there is no universally recommended serving size for how much chocolate to eat in order to yield these vascular health benefits, it is safe to say that a little chocolate here and there will not hurt.

As long as the chocolate is not loaded with sugary additions, and it is relatively unprocessed, it is completely fine to eat about one ounce of chocolate a few times a week.

So, chocolate lovers all over the world, eat your heart out.

They say chocolate can mend a broken heart, but many people may be surprised to learn that it actually can.

According to Clevelandclinic.org, chocolate has been gaining a lot of media attention because of its potential benefits for cardiovascular health, and claims have been made that chocolate may be beneficial for our health.

This website shows that regular chocolate eaters actually have lower blood pressures, lower levels of LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease.

These positive results are directly related to the antioxidant like qualities of the cocoa bean.

The cocoa bean is rich in flavonoids, which help protect plants from harmful toxins. 100 percent cacao is the healthiest because it is the least processed chocolate, but this type of chocolate is extremely bitter and works better when it is used in baked goods.

When we consume these flavonoids, they seem to have a similar effect and we gain this antioxidant power.

The main type of flavonoids found in cocoa beans are called flavanols, and they influence our vascular health by improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure and making blood more able to clot.

Before you go running out to 7-Eleven to buy a Reese’s Cup or a Twix, it is important to note that not all types of chocolate are healthy.

Despite claims that dark chocolate is better for our health, it actually depends on how the chocolate is processed.

When chocolate is processed, flavanols are lost.

The more heavily processed, the less flavanols will be found in the final product.

Most of the chocolate treats that we love to consume are highly processed.

However, now that awareness of this knowledge is growing, manufacturers are looking for ways to preserve the flavanols in chocolate through the processing course.

Although this is great news, there is still the issue of the fat content in chocolate. In reality, it’s not a problem if you make your chocolate choices wisely.

The fats in chocolate are mostly monounsaturated, or “healthy fats” that are also found in olive oils.

Chocolate also has stearic acid in it. Although it is a saturated fat, it seems to have little effect on the raising or lowering of cholesterol levels.

The true culprits of unhealthy fats in chocolate treats are the other things within the chocolate like wafers, marshmallows and caramel.

Since there is no universally recommended serving size for how much chocolate to eat in order to yield these vascular health benefits, it is safe to say that a little chocolate here and there will not hurt.

As long as the chocolate is not loaded with sugary additions, and it is relatively unprocessed, it is completely fine to eat about one ounce of chocolate a few times a week.

So, chocolate lovers all over the world, eat your heart out.

Posted by on Feb 13, 2013. Filed under H&F. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.