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Danger in the Chocolate Zone

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The article in the New York Times started off with a disclaimer:

"Note to chocoholics: When it comes to cocoa's health benefits, less may be more."

That was enough to make me turn the page; no woman wants to learn that her object of desire is dangerous. It went on: "Just because chocolate is good for you, doesn't mean that you should eat it every day."

And besides the study that determined this was done on Swedish women. Aren't the Swedes known for their brooding personalities brought on by long dark winters? Why wouldn't the Swedes eat chocolate, nay need chocolate, to get them through the harshest season of the year?

But for all its worth, opinions (mine) aside, the study found that middle-aged and older Swedish women who ate one to two servings ( 19 to 30 grams) of chocolate a month had almost one third fewer heart failures than those who abstained. BUT there was no protective effect for women who ate chocolate everyday or almost everyday. My question is: how do we know these women were telling the truth about how much chocolate they ate, and did they measure it, or were they all women in the study with Alzheimer's who thought they were eating raspberries?

Study authors "speculated" that chocolate may reduce heart failure because it helps reduce blood pressure, a risk factor for heart failure. Others say that the flavanoids in cocoa may have beneficial effect on the blood vessels and reduce inflammation.

"But too much chocolate can cause weight gain, offsetting the benefits" said the Harvard doctoral student who wrote the article. She noted that the women who benefited the most ate one to three 19 to 30 gram servings per month, but also noted in her article that Swedish dark chocolate contains at least 30 % more cocoa which contains the flavanoids, whereas US dark chocolate comes up short.

All I can say after reading this is the Swedes are getting high test chocolate which helps their hearts. On the other hand, we in the US have to eat three times more chocolate just to get the same health benefits.

Would you eat three times more chocolate ( 9 ounces a month) or less if you currently eat more, so that you could have less risk of heart failure???
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Well, my opinion is that everything should be done in moderation. Of course, it's easy to overdo it with chocolate!
    2763 days ago
  • 55WALKER
    I have never been a sweets eating person (I'm of the salty/crunchy crowd) except for chocolate. Especially dark chocolate... I ate it every day until the change to veganism, when I got out of the habit thanks to the price of vegan chocolate.
    Now I have discovered that I can have plain cocoa! yay!
    I mix a tablespoon of it in a cup of unsweetened soy milk and heat it and amazingly, even with no sweetener and no added fat in it I feel as if I have had my chocolate.
    Let no one get in the way in the path to chocolate! lol
    2763 days ago
    That's right leave my semi sweet dark chocolate alone. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2763 days ago
    I believe that you can take away a woman's husband/lover and nothing will happen, but we do not want people messing with our chocolate.
    2763 days ago
    Who would dare write such a nasty thing about chocolate? Isn't that one section on the food pyramid? I buy a large dark chocolate bar which has 16 squares and I eat one square each night after dinner. I sometimes even eat two squares if I've had a low-calorie day. I love chocolate, can't live without it and believe that chocolate dessert should be eaten first so that you always have room for it!!!
    2763 days ago
    I think that study will soon be offset and overturned and refuted and crumpled up and stepped upon by countervailing studies funded by the chocolate industry and middle-aged women.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2763 days ago
    I confess to eating chocolate almost everyday. This is especially true since going on my health kick in January. I also have a glass of wine almost every evening. It is my reward for being good all day and darn it - I deserve it! It would probably raise my blood pressure to stave off the desire to imbibe in these wonderful treats, so it is much better to add the less than 200 calories for a quarter of a very dark chocolate bar and a small glass of wine. Since it would raise my blood pressure not to have whatever amount of chocolate it is that I am eating ( I never figure things in grams), I will continue doing what I am doing under the illusion that it is saving me from something or other. Probably just the misery of not getting to eat what I want to eat and I am already suffering enough of that type of misery already. I say bring on the chocolate! Yumm.
    2763 days ago
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