Good News for Chocolate Lovers: It Improves Health!

Apr 28, 2012

There's more good news on the horizon for chocolate lovers, it appears to raise HDL or good cholesterol and lower LDL or bad cholesterol.  This new report is from researchers at San Diego State University, who randomly assigned participants to eat a daily serving of either dark chocolate or white chocolate.

The interesting thing about this particular test is that the significant reduction in the dark chocolate group was seen in ONLY 12 days. The white chocolate group did not see the same improvements in their cholesterol panel.

The research group attribute the health giving benefits of chocolate to a type of antioxidant called flavanols.  These nutrients have been shown to be beneficial in a number of ways, but especially for blood vessel health.  Benefits especially include better brain health and are cardio-protective.    They have been shown to decrease blood pressure, improve the health of the blood vessels, and increase the number of angiogenic (promotes new blood vessel growth) cells in patients with heart disease.

Flavanols are not only found in chocolate, but also tea, wine and fruits and vegetables, with onions, apples, berries, kale, and broccoli having the highest concentrations.  In an earlier article, I also reported that chocolate eaters tend to be leaner especially around the midsection.


people who ate a daily serving of dark chocolate showed improvements in their levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol and beneficial HDL cholesterol. These improvements were strongest in participants who consumed chocolate with the highest percentage of cocoa. Link to Original article

It appears that the health giving compounds, especially flavanols, more than offset the sugar and fat in the candy.  So, this is indeed good news for chocolate lovers since it raises good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol. But not too much, as the study reports, it was only one serving, or about an ounce or you may be adding fat to your midsection, which we know is not a good thing. 

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