Sweet Stuff for the Heart

Thursday, July 1st, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

German researchers who followed 19,357 people (ages 35 to 65) for 10 years have found that eating chocolate can be heart-healthy — that is, eating modest amounts of chocolate, especially the dark type. Their results were published earlier this year in the European Heart Journal, a publication of Oxford Journals.

Participants in the study who enjoyed a small (7.5-gram) square of chocolate daily had lower blood pressure and a 39 percent lower risk for heart attack or stroke, compared to those who ate the least amount of chocolate. Lead researcher Brian Buijsse said that "dark chocolate exhibits the greatest effects, milk chocolate fewer, and white chocolate none."

Buijsse cautioned against eating so much chocolate that it raises one’s overall calorie intake or replaces one’s consumption of healthful foods. Weight gain is undesirable, and it should be noted that a 7.5-gram piece of chocolate is quite small. Even so, dark chocolate can make a good substitute for high-calorie, low-nutrient junk food snacks. To learn more about this study, click on http://www.oxfordjournals.org/news/research/2010/03/30/chocolate.html.

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