Chocolate and Heart Health: The Good and the Bad

According to Statista, consumers within the United States have increased their spending on chocolate with a reported 22.4 billion in sales during 2017. Medicomp, creators of top-notch Holter monitoring equipment, began to ask ourselves a couple of questions. One being, how does this affect your heart health? We’re here to answer your questions on whether or not you should add it to your diet.  

  1. Lower Rate of Atrial Fibrillation

Irregular heartbeats, referred to as atrial fibrillation, put patients at an increased risk for stroke, heart failure, and blood clots. A study published by BMJ Heart in May of 2017 took a look at the correlation between chocolate consumption and atrial fibrillation. The results were surprising and showed that individuals who ate between two and six servings of chocolate had a 20 percent less occurrence of atrial fibrillation than the people who only had one piece of chocolate a month.

  1. Lower Blood Pressure Values

High blood pressure can be dangerous and is responsible for weakening blood vessels, causing clots to form, and increasing a person’s risk for a stroke. Amazingly, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published a study that measured the blood pressure values of participants who ate varying amounts of dark chocolate. The conclusion revealed that all blood pressure numbers were significantly decreased in the individuals who had consumed the darkest chocolate.

  1. Lower Risk of Heart Disease

The University of Cambridge discussed a series of seven studies they conducted that included a total of 114,000 patients. The institute of higher learning found that the study participants who ate the most chocolate had a 37 percent lower risk of developing heart disease. The author of the study, Dr. Oscar Franco, does warn that consumers must be careful as to the type of chocolate they are consuming. He points out that many commercially sold chocolates are high in calories, which will lead to weight gain. Weight gain is known to increase a person’s risks for a number of health issues.

Like all aspects of your diet, it is important to consume chocolate in moderation to receive the biggest benefit from it. A nutritionist can help you create a plan that includes adding chocolate where appropriate. Medicomp has a Heart Health News page with lots of helpful information that you can also follow to keep your heart in tip-top shape. This maker of state-of-the-art Holter monitoring equipment is also available to answer your questions at 800-234-3278.

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