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???