Chocolate may just be the most divine dessert on the planet. First, it comes in three tempting types (white, milk, and dark), making it extremely versatile. Second, it goes perfectly with fruits or nuts, allowing you to mix it up every time you eat it. And third (and most importantly), it tastes absolutely delicious.
Unfortunately, the “health food” industry typically rejects chocolate. This is due to the decadent dessert’s high fat and sugar content. Because of this, many people often feel guilty for indulging in this sweet treat.
However, what if the experts have gotten it all wrong when it comes to chocolate?
Research has discovered one more reason why you should continue to indulge in this silky smooth treat. According to Medical News Today:
“From an analysis of more than 55,000 adults from Denmark, researchers found that eating between 2 and 6 ounces of chocolate every week was associated with a 20 percent reduced risk of atrial fibrillation (A-fib).
Lead study author Dr. Elizabeth Mostofsky, of the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the journal Heart.
More than 2.7 million people in the United States are living with A-fib.
A-fib is characterized by the rapid, irregular beating of the upper heart chambers, or the atria. As a result, the flow of blood into the ventricles is compromised.
According to the American Heart Association, patients with A-fib are five times more likely to have a stroke and are at double the risk of heart-related death.
Adhering to a healthful diet is considered one of the key prevention strategies for A-fib. Could chocolate form a part of that diet? The new study suggests so.
Up to 20 percent lower A-fib risk with moderate chocolate intake
To reach their findings, Dr. Mostofsky and colleagues analyzed the data of 55,502 adults who were part of the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study.
Subjects were recruited to the study between 1993 and 1997, at which point their body mass index (BMI), cholesterol levels, and blood pressure were measured.
Participants were also required to complete dietary, health, and lifestyle questionnaires, which the researchers used to gather data on overall health and chocolate intake.
Using information from the Danish National Patient Register, the researchers identified 3,346 cases of A-fib among the participants during the 13.5 years of follow-up.
Compared with subjects who consumed just 1 ounce of chocolate less than once each month, those who consumed 1 to 3 ounces of chocolate per month had a 10 percent reduced risk of A-fib.
Participants who ate 1 ounce of chocolate per week were found to have a 17 percent lower risk of A-fib, while those who consumed 2 to 6 ounces each week were 20 percent less likely to develop A-fib.
When it came to higher chocolate intake, the benefits began to fade; subjects who ate at least 1 ounce of chocolate daily were found to have a 16 percent lower risk of A-fib.”
Isn’t chocolate amazing? Dessert eaters will fall in love with how their favorite treat works to benefit their help.
Dark chocolate is often the best type to eat when you’re looking to treat yourself. This is because dark chocolate contains higher levels of antioxidants, which can benefit the heart.
Now keep in mind researchers aren’t saying to chow down on a chocolate bar per day. Unfortunately, scientists are still aware that this sweet treat contains a large amount of fat, calories, and sugar.
However, according to the study, a small amount of chocolate can go a long way when it comes to gaining health benefits. By simply eating just 6-8 oz. of chocolate per week, you can give your heart a boost, without adding to the comfort of your waistline.