Now this is a study I can get behind. Chocolate. It’s not just the way to our hearts…it could be the way to a healthier you!
A study printed in the Heart and British journal showed a correlation between moderate chocolate consumption and a healthy heart. It involved about 21,000 people and 11 years of consistent, but varying chocolate consumption among participants.
The British scientists looked at the findings from over a decade of observational research. They looked at lifestyle choices, multiple questionnaires and data from their active health monitoring of those involved.
Those chosen for the study had a daily consumption average ranging from zero to 100 grams. The study showed that those who consumed closer to 100 grams of chocolate every day were 12 percent less likely to develop heart disease and 23 percent less likely to have a stroke compared to those in the bottom 20% of the group (who ate less chocolate).
Health benefits have long been accepted in terms of eating dark chocolate due to the high percentage of flavonoids. However, in regards to this study, the majority of the chocolate consumed was milk chocolate, and not dark chocolate. The fact that health benefits were still seen might imply that the milk content, with its fatty acids and calcium, could be beneficial for the heart and not just flavonoids.
This study is not an open and shut case, as a researcher Phyo Myint, from Scotland’s University of Aberdeen, made clear:
“This type of study is observational, which means it did not show cause and effect, just that an association existed, which could also have been circumstantial.”
This is not the full extent of their testing though. The same team of scientists performed other studies related to this one with over 130,000 people to propose that chocolate in any diet is very beneficial to the heart.
There are, expectedly, a number of skeptics out there still who debate that a diet including regular chocolate consumption is a healthy diet.
Tim Chico is a cardiologist at the University of Sheffield in northern England. In regards to the findings, Chico says he “would not advise (his) patients to increase their chocolate intake based on this research, particularly if they are overweight”.
Too much of anything can be problematic. I, for one, like the idea that chocolate is healthy…it does come from a bean after all! Hopefully future study’s can make the evidence a little more concrete and take the guilt out of one of us women’s most guilty pleasures.