If you love chocolate, then you need to read on here, because we have some wonderful news to share with you all today. Scientists in the US are claiming that eating chocolate could actually boost our heart health.
According to new research carried out by a team at Harvard Medical School, eating chocolate on a regular basis could significantly reduce your risk of suffering from a condition known as ‘heart flutter’.
Heart flutter, formally known as atrial fibrillation, is a rapid heart rate which can increase your risk of stroke, heart attacks and even heart failure.
As part of the research, the team tracked and analysed the health of over 55,000 people in Denmark, aged between 50 and 64. They looked at their diet, in particular, and studied their heart health.
By the end of the 14-year-long study, the researchers found that there were 3,346 new cases of heart flutter.
Interestingly, the team found that those who had eaten more chocolate during the study actually had lower rates of heart flutter.
The results varied significantly between the sexes. For men, the health benefits were boosted when they ate between two and six portions (30g each) of chocolate a week; for women, just one weekly portion was linked to a 21 per cent lower risk of developing heart flutter.
Researchers reckon that the difference in results between male and female participants comes down to the different recommendations for daily calorie intake.
Now, while the researchers have concluded that there could very well be a link between regular consumption of chocolate and better heart health; they do acknowledge that there are some limitations to this study.
For starters, those who ate the least amount of chocolate in the study were found to be unhealthier in other ways, so they suspect there could be another factor at play.
Lead author Elizabeth Mostofsky was also quick to reiterate that overdoing it with chocolate can lead to other health complications. Mostofsky was also quick to reiterate that overdoing it with chocolate can lead to other health complications.
“Eating excessive amounts of chocolate is not recommended because many chocolate products are high in calories from sugar and fat, and could lead to weight gain and other metabolic problems,” she wrote.
“But moderate intake of chocolate with high cocoa content may be a healthy choice.”
The researchers weren’t able to identify any particular piece of ‘science’ to explain their results, so clearly they have some questions to answer! In the meantime, though, we’ll feel a little less guilty about munching that chocolate bar at 11 o’clock.