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Does chocolate prevent heart attacks?

Does chocolate prevent heart attacks?

The candy industry keeps trying to convince us that chocolate is a health food by sponsoring and publicizing studies. The latest, in the medical journal Hypertension (July, 2005), shows that eating dark chocolate lowers high blood pressure. Jeffrey B. Blumberg, a professor of nutrition at Tufts University, gave 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate per day for 15 days to 20 people with high blood pressure. Their systolic blood pressure dropped by an average of 11mm.

Cocoa beans are loaded with flavonoids, the antioxidants found in all fruits, vegetables whole grains, beans and other seeds, and antioxidants do lower blood pressure. However, dark chocolate by itself is bitter, so candy makers add lots of sugar and fat to make it taste good. Sugar raises blood sugar to damage cells in diabetics, and one third of Americans are or will become diabetic. Fat is a dense source of calories that makes fat people fatter. So the old adage: "If it tastes good, it must be bad." still holds for most of us. Chocolate tastes good because of the added sugar and fat.

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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