Some studies suggest dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and improve blood flow through the arteries, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. These benefits are due to the presence of flavanoids, found in cocoa beans. Flavanoids are similar to antioxidants; they reduce inflammation and repair cell damage. Most chocolate, however, primarily contains saturated fat and processed sugar, two ingredients that are more harmful than healthy for the heart. And not all chocolate is created equal: only dark chocolate contains enough flavanoids to have potential health benefits. Further research is necessary to determine whether chocolate can reduce the risk for coronary heart disease.
Robyn N. Sanders, MD
Specialty: Internal Medicine
Location and Office HoursTriad Internal Medicine
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Can chocolate reduce my risk for coronary heart disease?
Piedmont Heart Institute answered
Is dark chocolate good for the heart?
Robin Miller, MD, Integrative Medicine, answeredDark chocolate is good for the heart whether it’s packed with antioxidants or not. Watch Robin Miller, MD, explain how it benefits the heart and what else chocolate can do for you.
What is gluten intolerance?
American Diabetes Association answeredThere are many people who are said to have a gluten intolerance. When these people eat foods that contain gluten, they experience uncomfortable symptoms. However, they test negative for celiac disease and actual damage to their small intestine does not occur. More research about gluten intolerance is needed, but avoiding foods with gluten should help to relieve these symptoms.
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