Facebook Pixel

The Good News about Chocolate

Rate This

It’s been lovingly called the sixth food group. Someone even gushed that chocolate is nature's way of making up for Mondays. In fact, food researchers widely report chocolate is the single most craved food. Many of us couldn’t agree more. According to the World Atlas of Chocolate, North Americans are so crazy for the confection that we consume on average 21 pounds per person per year and a whopping 66 percent of it between meals.

While chocolate has been found to trigger parts of the brain that are associated with drug addiction, the chocolate craving phenomena is still poorly understood. Researchers aren’t sure if chocolate addiction is a sensory or a pharmacological effect or if it’s all the sugar and fat that’s actually producing our craving. But cheer up chocoholics, the news isn’t all bad. Chocolate, especially the dark variety, eaten in moderation can actually be good for you.

Live Longer: Harvard School of Public Health researchers studied 7841 men with an average age of 65 years and found that those who ate chocolate one to three times a month live almost a year longer than those who abstained, even after accounting for confounding factors. Researchers say the presence of antioxidant phenols in chocolate could be helping to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. They also speculate that cacao, from which chocolate is made, lowers LDL (the bad kind) cholesterol as well as enhancing the immune function that leads to decreased risks of heart disease and cancer.

A Healthy Heart: German researchers followed nearly 20,000 people for 10 years. They found people whose ages were 35 to 65 and who ate an average of 7.5 grams of dark chocolate per day had lower blood pressure and a 39 percent lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to those who ate 1.7 grams per day. Dr. Brian Buijsse, a nutritional epidemiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition and lead researcher said a small amount of chocolate appeared to have a profound effect on blood pressure. In 2008, an Italian study found similar results.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I think you should try a true healthy Chocolate. One that doesn't cook the beans, alkalize the cocoa and that has no fillers, waxes or chemicals. One that maintains and protects the nutrients and antioxidants naturally found in Raw Unprocessed Cocoa. (Link to product website removed by EmpowHer Moderator.)

April 8, 2010 - 5:20pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Healthy Eating

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!