As a chocolate snob myself, I am pleased to publish yet another reason to consume bittersweet chocolate. A study reported in the British Medical Journal dated June 2015, described following nearly 21,000 chocolate-eating adults in England for 12 years. Those with the highest chocolate consumption [16-99 grams per day – with 100gm being about 3.5 oz.] had the lowest rates of stroke and heart attack. The chocolate-eating subjects also had a lower average body mass index, systolic blood pressure, inflammation, and incidence of diabetes. Inflammation is a significant risk factor for many of our serious ills.
The BMJ went on to report a meta-analysis of 9 studies of 157,809 participants in which chocolate abstainers were compared to chocolate consumers. The chocolate indulgers were 25% less likely to suffer from poor cardiovascular outcomes, including a 45% reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality.
In looking for chocolate for frequent consumption, aim for those with no milk or butterfat in the list of ingredients, and an average of 70% cocoa solids. The higher the percentage, the more health promoting antioxidants lie within each delicious morsel. Using a strategy of moderation, there is no reason to eliminate this luxurious delicacy from one’s daily food intake. Enjoy!