From RGQ

Rejoice! Rejoice! Here is some really good news. At least it is really good news for me. I’m a chocoholic and eat chocolate on a daily basis. Sometimes more than is really wise, but I love the substance and have all my life. I try to eat about one-half of a serving per day, so I don’t think I’m really over doing it.

The BBC has reported on an article posted at the BMJ (British Medical Journal) about the health benefits of eating chocolate. The authors of the study wanted to test links between chocolate intake and the risk of “developing cardiometabolic disorders”. They used seven studies which met their standards for data collection so that they had information on 114,000 participants.

The study found that chocolate may protect both the heart and the brain. However, over-consumption may lead to other illnesses. The British Heart Foundation said there were better ways to protect the heart. (I assume they mean more medically sound as I can think of nothing that is “heart healthy” that is equal to the wonderful taste of delicious chocolate.)

The study was done at the University of Cambridge. They compared the heart health of people with low chocolate intake (less than two bars per week) and those with high chocolate intake (more than two bars per week). Those with the “highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with the lowest levels.”

Dr. Oscar Franco, one of the researchers, said chocolate was known to reduce blood pressure. He said the study’s findings were “promising” but needed more research. (No mention of where to go to volunteer for further study was listed.)

The down side to this is that eating lots of chocolate can lead to weight gain and Type 2 diabetes, so one should not start to binge on what was once called the “food of the gods” just to be healthy. No one is advising people to begin consuming large quantities of chocolate. The study did not test one type of chocolate against another type. There is some speculation that chocolate may be beneficial if the fats and sugars are removed (which would make it not taste nearly as good).

It is suggested, “If you want to reduce your heart disease risk, there are much better places to start than at the bottom of a box of chocolates.”

Do you eat chocolate? What type do you prefer? Milk? Dark? Semisweet? White? Do you like pure chocolate or do you like things mixed into your chocolate (peanuts, crispies, fruit filling)?

Are you as happy as me to find out that one of your “bad habits” could actually be keeping you healthy?