Can chocolate be part of a healthy heart diet? I am not a doctor but my researches indicate to me that the answer is “in the right circumstances.” There have been a number of trials carried out on the effects, or lack of them, that chocolate has on the human heart. Some of them show that chocolate can help and others are inconclusive.
To start, the scientific bits. The active constituents in chocolate that we are concerned with are known as Flavanoids. They are supposed to protect plants against the toxins in pollution and help in damage repair of the plants themselves. It has been found that these flavanoids may work in a similar manner for human beings when we eat them as a component part of what we eat. In cocoa/chocolate these flavanoids are called Flavanols. There is a body of evidence to demonstrate that flavanols bring down cholesterol, increase circulation to the brain and heart as well as decreasing blood pressure and making the platelets in the blood less sticky so they don’t form clots in veins and arteries.
The flavanols make the chocolate taste more pungent so are therefore frequently processed out. Makers are attempting to find methods to alter the flavor without lowering the flavanols too much. Regrettably a high percentage of chocolate available contains little in the way of flavanols and far more in the form of sugar and fat that are not good for our hearts. This shows that people will be consuming calories that are in all probability going to put on weight without any benefit. Those of us that love milk chocolate will not be getting enough of the beneficial stuff whilst consuming a deal of the weight increasing stuff.
Research has been carried out that demonstrate we ought to be eating chocolate high in cocoa solids but lower in sugar and fat. There are indications that 76% cocoa solids is about the optimum. Higher than that amount and the body just voids the extra beneficial part, lower that amount and we will not be providing our bodies with the best quantity.
What is the proper dose amount? That is a hard question as researchers that hold that high percentage cocoa solid chocolate might well be beneficial for people do not agree on the ideal amount to consume. Quite a few propose that an ounce maybe once or twice over week is sufficient and there are those that one and a half ounces per day is the best way to go.
The result I have come to is that there is sufficient evidence to intimate that chocolate high in cocoa solids will do us a bit of good. You should understand that this is my individual decision, I believe that the one and a half ounces per day is what I shall treat myself to. My wife and I have discovered a 70% cocoa solid chocolate that both of us like the taste of, and, it comes in small pieces that are individually wrapped. In this way there is no arguing about who has got the largest portion!
Nigel Wickenden’s father died when comparatively young. Nigel had a check up and found that both his cholesterol and blood pressure were high. He decided that he needed to follow a healthy heart diet and has set up a blog on what he finds out. One of the things that interests him is chocolate and the healthy heart.
categories: healthy heart diet,chocolate