Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
If you haven't been down the candy isle in a while what you find may surprise you. Dark chocolate seems to take over the entire section. The reason is several recent studies have at least hinted at the fact that it may have some health benefits.
Studies have shown that chocolate may improve the ability of blood vessels to dilate and relax, that's a good thing.
Other research has compared the effects of white chocolate to dark chocolate.
Subjects ate a bar of chocolate a day and those who downed the dark variety actually saw a lowering of their blood pressure.
But the white chocolate group saw no change.
And what about cholesterol? Those who ate the dark variety saw their LDL or bad cholesterol levels go down.
While the white chocolate's cholesterol level stayed the same.
The theory is the main ingredient in chocolate, cocoa, is high in antioxidants called flavanols, which may have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system.
Dark chocolate generally has more of the compounds than the other chocolates do but the jury is still out and more research needs to be done.
And if you do have a craving for chocolate you might want to head your bets and go for the dark variety but remember moderation is always the key, when we are talking about a high calorie food. And chocolate itself is no replacement for good exercise, a healthy diet and an aspirin a day or any other way to protect your heart.
After all it's candy, it's not medicine.
This entry last modified on: January 18, 2013 4:27 PM
About the Video
Is dark chocolate just an indulgence -- or actually good for you? Dr. Bruce Dan looks at the surprising health benefits of this delicious treat.