Chocolate may no longer be just an indulgent sweet treat according to new research showing that eating up to two bars a day may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Heart researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that eating up to 100g of chocolate a day lowered the risk of and reduced the risk of suffering a stroke by 23 per cent.
Looking at the snacking habits of 21,000 people over 12 years, the study discovered that those who consumed higher amounts of chocolate where younger, weighed less and engaged in regular physical activity. They also had lower waist: hip ratios, systolic blood pressure, inflammatory proteins and diabetes—all of which amount to a positive cardiovascular disease risk profile.
Eating more chocolate was also associated with higher energy intake and a diet containing more fat and carbs as well as less protein and alcohol.
The study noted that milk chocolate, often thought to be less healthy that dark chocolate, may also have the same benefical health effects and was eaten frequently by the study’s partcipants.
Professor Phyo Myint, Chair in Old Age Medicine at Aberdeen University, said: “Cumulative evidence suggests that higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events.”
“This may indicate that not only flavonoids, but also other compounds, possibly related to milk constituents, such as calcium and fatty acids, may provide an explanation for the observed association.”
“There doesn’t seem to be any evidence of moderate consumption of chocolate increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, conclude the researchers.”
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