Archive for August, 2010

Chocolate – Good vs Evil

August 17, 2010

In the last few years there has been a lot of talk about the health benefits of chocolate.

Coincidentally the International Cocoa Organization states that production has risen from 1.2 million tons per year in 1960 (I know a long time ago) to 3.2 million tons per year in 2004. Along with the rise in the production of chocolate so has the global rate of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Hmmmm?

So which is it? Is chocolate good for you or is it killing you? Oh, and don’t get me started on expanding waistlines.

Studies have surfaced that show that it is the plant sterols and cocoa flavonoids in chocolate that when used as part of a low fat diet support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and improve blood pressure.

A review of studies conducted by members of the departments of Epidemiology, Nutrition and Medicine at Harvard University also agree that the flavonoids are likely protective against coronary heart disease.

Now we must remember that all chocolate is NOT created equal. Most candy bars that you find in the grocery store are high in refined (white) sugar and other fats that replace the healthy nutrients found in cocoa.

So, when shopping for chocolate there are a few things to consider. Does the chocolate product

  • Consist of at least 70 percent pure cocoa.
  • Contain cocoa butter instead of milk fats or hydrogenated oils.
  • Contains natural, low-glycemic sweeteners – such as raw cane – rather than refined sugar

What about you? Do you eat chocolate? Is it a guilty pleasure? Or do you like Nancy Clark, (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) who wrote in Sweat Magazine (July/August 2010) use it during a cardiovascular workout like a long hike or bike ride?

For more Health & Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

www.longevitypt.com

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