Complete Chocolate Lover’s Guide for the San Francisco Bay Area

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A chocolate a day keeps the heart specialist away

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According to research presented at the 2011 European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris, regular consumption of chocolate reduces the risk of heart disease by 1/3.

This news is in addition to previous discoveries that chocolate helps fight inflammation, reduces blood pressure and improves insulin sensitivity.

Dr. Oscar Franco presented the results of a large scale review his team at the University of Cambridge, England, did of the existing evidence to evaluate the effects of eating chocolate on cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.

They found that consuming chocolate (they didn’t differentiate between types of chocolate or what form they took, including bars, drinks, cookies and desserts) lowered the risk of cardiovascular events. People who ate the most chocolate averaged a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared with those who ate the least.

Unfortunately, they did end the report with a nag about not eating too much chocolate because it contains a lot of calories and sugar, which can lead to all the health ills that chocolate mitigates. But I’m looking at the report in “cup half full” mode, and what I see is “eating chocolate is good for your heart, so eat it regularly.”

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Published November 15, 2011