Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A dose of chocolate a day keeps heart attack away - so they say

At last - a legitimate medical justification to indulge in chocolate!

A new study - my kind of study by the way - indicates that small doses of chocolate each day lessens one's risk of having a heart attack or stroke by nearly 40%. How exciting! So researchers based in Germany followed 20,000 people over an 8 year period by sending them questionnaires focusing on diet and exercise habits. Findings reveal that participants who ate 6 grams of chocolate per day or approximately 1 square of chocolate bar, had a 39% lower risk of either a heart attack or stroke.

Experts are of the opinion that flavonols, also found vegetables and red wines, are responsible helping the muscles in blood vessels widen, leading to the drop in blood pressure.

Hey - that sounds like a good enough reason to me. However - don't you hate the howevers in life - medical experts caution that eating larger amounts of chocolate could lead to weight gain. Wow - what a surprise!

"This is not a prescription to eat more chocolate," said Dr. Robert Eckel, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado and a past president of the American Heart Association. He was not linked to the study. "If we all had (a small amount) of chocolate every day for the rest of our lives, we would all gain a few pounds."

So basically if we read between the lines, the experts are still out regarding this eating chocolate=healthy heart study, but what the heck - we should all do our part to help science and if that includes eating chocolate, so much the better.

Meanwhile, watch this video for the lowdown on chocolate and healthy hearts. The Easter bunny would be happy.

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