THURSDAY, July 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) – If the stress of the current pandemic is pushing you to grab chocolate, a new exam may give you just the excuse you need.
The study found that people who ate one or more servings of chocolate per week were up to 10% less likely to have heart disease than people who ate less or no chocolate per week.
Unfortunately, these results don’t mean that you can eat chocolate with abandon.
“Chocolate contains several nutrients that can be beneficial for the heart,” said study author Dr. Chayakrit Krittanawong of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
But, he noted, “This is an observational study, which means that we cannot conclude [a cause-and-effect] relationship that consuming chocolate can prevent or reduce heart disease. However, we can see scientific signals that consuming chocolate is likely to be beneficial for the heart under certain circumstances. ”
Additionally, the calories, sugar, milk and fat in store-bought chocolate products should be considered in the context of your diet, especially for people who are obese or have diabetes, Krittanawong said.
Chocolate can help keep the heart humming by contributing to healthy blood vessels. It contains a number of beneficial nutrients like flavonoids that can reduce inflammation and increase good cholesterol (HDL), the researchers said.
The new review, published on July 23 in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, included six studies involving more than 336,000 people. Most were from the United States, nearly 69,000 were from Sweden and 1,200 were from Australia.
The health status of the participants was followed for an average of almost nine years. More than 14,000 have developed heart disease and nearly 4,700 have had a heart attack.
The researchers noted that there were certain limitations to the exam. They were unable to control lifestyle factors, such as physical activity. And they didn’t have specific data on the types of chocolate people ate.
This is important because the type of chocolate probably matters.
Cardiologist Dr John Osborne, of State of the Heart Cardiology in Dallas, reviewed the results and explained, “When you make milk chocolate, you mostly end up with fat and sugar with modest amounts of. chocolate.
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