Short but Sweet

At the risk of writing about something, I’ve previously promoted as having health benefits, this time I am mentioning one area specifically. New research suggests that eaten in moderation, chocolate may reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat by as much as a fifth.

According to the American Heart Association, people with AF are 5  times more likely to have a stroke and equally are at double the risk of heart-related death.

Following a healthy diet is one of the main factors in prevention strategy, could chocolate form part of this healthy diet?

Lead study author Dr. Elizabeth Mostofsky, from Harvard Department of Epidemiology in Boston and colleagues, recently published their findings. They analysed the data of 55,502 adults who were part of the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study. People were recruited for this study between 1993 & 1997, their BMI ( body mass index), blood pressure and cholesterol levels were taken, along with details from questionnaires on lifestyle, health, and diet. The researchers identified 3,346 cases of AF among the participants during the 13.5 years.

Those who consumed 1 to 3 ounces of chocolate per month, had a 10% reduced risk of AF compared to participants who consumed only 1 ounce.

Participants who ate 1 ounce of chocolate a week were found to have a 17% lower risk of AF, while those consuming 2 to 6 ounces weekly were 20 times less likely to develop AF.

According to Dr. Mostofsky, these findings suggest that consuming moderate amounts of chocolate, especially dark chocolate as it’s higher in antioxidants can benefit the heart as I know I have said previously in an earlier blog.

Despite these findings, it has to be remembered that eating large amounts of chocolate is not good for us. Also many chocolate products are high in sugar, fat, and calories. Really, the higher the cocoa content, the healthier the choice. You can also buy cacao but the downside is, it is more expensive.

You may have previously read a similar report to this. If so I apologise, as last year ‘Medical News Today’ found that eating a small amount of chocolate daily may lower our risk of heart disease.

 

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