Chocolates can often be a Saint Valentine’s gift and now there’s some good news from Cambridge researchers. You do not need to feel guilty.
Cambridge research published in the British Medical Journal this week states that Eating chocolate cuts risk of heart disease.
Eating high levels of chocolate could be associated with a significant reduction in the risk of certain cardiovascular disorders. The researchers compiled a systematic review of seven studies using data from 114,000 patients and found that people who consumed the most chocolate had a 37 per cent lower risk of developing heart disease and a 29 per cent lower risk of suffering a stroke than those who consumed less chocolate.
The studies looked at the consumption of dark chocolate as well as milk chocolate, chocolate drinks and other chocolate confectionaries.
With good news you may also get bad news and it is noted that the findings need to be interpreted with caution. Commercially available chocolate is very calorific and eating too much of it could in itself lead to weight gain, which increases various health risks.
The lead author, Dr Oscar Franco, from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, said: “Chocolate may be beneficial, but it should be eaten in a moderate way, not in large quantities and not in binges,” he said. “If it is consumed in large quantities, any beneficial effect is going to disappear.”
Given the health benefits of eating chocolate, the researchers recommend that initiatives to reduce the current fat and sugar content in most chocolate products should be explored.
The WHO predicts that by 2030, nearly 23.6 million people will die from heart disease. Furthermore, about a fifth of the world’s adult population are thought to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of factors associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.