December 21, 2012

Dark chocolate flavanols no magic cure for heart health

Cake slicesCocoa-rich dark chocolate could help prevent heart attacks and stroke - particularly in men, according to new research.

Scientists looked at the blood of people who ate different types of chocolate, including dark chocolate which had specially been boosted with extra flavanols.

They found that, in the people who ate the flavanol enriched dark chocolate, the platelet function - or ‘stickiness’ of the blood – had been reduced, possibly lowering their risk of heart attack or stroke.

Whilst the effect was seen in women, the results were more pronounced in men.

Our Senior Dietitian Victoria Taylor said: “The chocolates that showed benefits in this study are different to the ones many of us will be unwrapping on Christmas day.

The chocolates that showed benefits in this study are different to the ones many of us will be unwrapping on Christmas day

“While a number of studies have shown heart health benefits from the flavanols in dark chocolate, it’s important to remember that in the long term, these can be outweighed by the calories and fat that come with it.

“So enjoy a bit of chocolate as part of a balanced diet, but remember that flavanols can also be found in foods like beans, apricots, blackberries and apples that may have be better for your overall heart health.”

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