Eating Chocolate More Than Once A Week Can Help Reduce Heart Disease, New Study Says
Researchers have discovered that there could be a link between eating chocolate and lowering your risk of heart disease.
The European Society of Cardiology has released a new combined analysis, which comprised of more than 336,000 participants.
The study has been published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology and explains how eating chocolate more than once a week has been shown to be good for your heart.
Obviously it's a case of moderation, so don't go stuffing your face with the delicious treat, but it will at least stop us feeling guilty if we indulge in some choccie every now and then.
Study author Dr. Chayakrit Krittanawong from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas said in a statement: "Our study suggests that chocolate helps keep the heart's blood vessels healthy.
"In the past, clinical studies have shown that chocolate is beneficial for both blood pressure and the lining of blood vessels. I wanted to see if it affects the blood vessels supplying the heart (the coronary arteries) or not. And if it does, is it beneficial or harmful?"
The combined analysis had a look at six separate studies done over five decades to see whether chocolate was good for your heart.
During those different research projects, hundreds of thousands of people volunteered their services in the quest to determine whether we should knock back a couple of blocks.
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The combined analysis determined: Eating chocolate more than once a week was associated with an 8 per cent decreased risk of coronary artery disease.
Can't complain with that.
An even better slice of news is that there doesn't appear to be one specific type of chocolate that is associated with the benefit. So you won't have to chow down on ultra dark chocolate even if you hate it.
Dr Krittanawong said: "Chocolate contains heart healthy nutrients such as flavonoids, methylxanthines, polyphenols and stearic acid which may reduce inflammation and increase good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol).
"Chocolate appears promising for prevention of coronary artery disease, but more research is needed to pinpoint how much and what kind of chocolate could be recommended."
But just as a reminder, Dr Krittanawong warned that this shouldn't be an excuse to devour an unhealthy amount of chocolate.
"Moderate amounts of chocolate seem to protect the coronary arteries but it's likely that large quantities do not. The calories, sugar, milk, and fat in commercially available products need to be considered, particularly in diabetics and obese people," he concluded.
Featured Image Credit: PA