Chocolate Lowers Heart Disease Risk, Study Finds

In All Health Watch, Cholesterol, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article, Heart and Cardiovascular

If there was any doubt before, there should be none now…

Chocolate is good for your heart.

Past studies have shown that chocolate lowers bad cholesterol and prevents atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat.

And now, new research provides perhaps the strongest evidence yet that eating chocolate improves cardiovascular health.

The massive study followed 336,289 people for nine years. It found that eating chocolate more than once a week led to an 8% lower risk of heart disease.[1]

That may not sound like much, but it means that if everybody ate chocolate, it would save more than 50,000 Americans from dying of heart disease every year.[2]

Dr. Chayakrit Krittanawong of the Baylor College of Medicine was the study’s lead author. He said the findings show that “chocolate helps keep the heart’s blood vessels healthy.”

It contains “heart healthy nutrients such as flavonoids, methylxanthines, polyphenols, and stearic acid which may reduce inflammation and increase good (HDL) cholesterol.”[3]

The research backs up a 2015 study from the University of Aberdeen.[4]

Scientists looked at the eating habits of 25,000 people. They found that those who ate a small chocolate bar each day had an 11% lower risk of heart disease and a 23% lower chance of having a stroke.

The study also showed that chocolate is not fattening. Subjects who ate the most chocolate actually weighed less than those who ate less. They also had lower blood pressure and were less likely to be diabetic.

Best Chocolate for Good Health

Choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Dark has more antioxidants and less sugar. But be careful. Some brands contain lead, a potent neurotoxin.[5]

As You Sow is a consumer advocacy group. It analyzed 50 chocolate products. It looked at both dark and milk chocolate brands. Thirty-five dark chocolate brands were found to contain either lead or cadmium. No milk chocolate tested positive.

The group did not divulge how much of the heavy metals were found in each brand of dark chocolate. But it says at least one brand had lead levels at nine times the amount California considers safe to avoid reproductive harm. The group found cadmium up to seven times the state’s maximum daily exposure limit. It says it wants to work with chocolate companies to remove the toxins.

The chocolate makers say there are only trace amounts in their products and that it’s naturally occurring. They say the cacao plant used to make chocolate naturally absorbs some lead.

The problem is that there is no safe level for lead. Even small amounts are harmful to the brain.

Lead is linked to lower IQs, learning disabilities, and seizures. Children are especially vulnerable.

Cadmium is also a powerful poison. It can damage the kidneys, bones, and liver.

Both metals can get into foods through chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

Are You Eating Toxic Chocolate?

Here are popular brands of dark chocolate found to contain lead and/or cadmium:

  • Cadbury Royal Dark
  • Ghirardelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight
  • Godiva 85% Cacao Extra Dark
  • Hershey Dagoba Dark Chocolate
  • Hershey Scharffen Berger Extra Dark
  • Kraft Cote D’Or 86% Noir Brut Belgian
  • Lindt Excellence
  • Mars Dove Dark Chocolate Eggs
  • Newman’s Own Super Dark Chocolate
  • Whole Foods 72% Cacao

Safe Chocolate Choices

Here are dark chocolate products found to contain no lead or cadmium:

  • DeMet’s Flipz 50% Cacao Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels
  • Ghirardelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie
  • Jo’s Candies Dark Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers
  • Lindt Excellence A Touch of Sea Salt
  • Starbuck’s Dark Chocolate Covered Grahams

We recommend two of these products: the Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie and the Lindt Excellence A Touch of Salt. Not only are they without lead and cadmium, but they contain no carb-heavy pretzels or graham crackers… Just pure health-boosting dark chocolate.

Editor’s Note: Research shows the standard heart disease treatments—stents and statin drugs—don’t prevent heart attacks. Discover what does. Get the Heart Smart Protocol. It’s a simple, science-backed plan that prevents and treats America’s number-one killer naturally, without drugs or procedures. You’ll find it in our monthly journal, Independent Healing. Subscribe HERE.

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