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"When it comes to chocolate, order dark, not white"

 
 
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 01:43 pm
Mar 22 (Reuters Health) - Dark chocolate -- but not white chocolate - may help reduce blood pressure and boost the body's ability to metabolize sugar from food, according to the results of a small study.

Investigators from the University of L'Aquila in Italy found that after eating only 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces, of dark chocolate every day for 15 days, 15 healthy people had lower blood pressures and were more sensitive to insulin, an important factor in metabolizing sugar.

In contrast, eating roughly the same amount of white chocolate for the same period of time did not affect either blood pressure or insulin sensitivity.

This is not the first study to demonstrate potential health benefits of dark chocolate, which contains high levels of a kind of antioxidant called flavonoids. Research shows that flavonoids that can help maintain a healthy heart and good circulation and reduce blood clotting, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke.

Dr. Claudio Ferri and co-investigators explained that flavonoids help the body by neutralizing potentially cell- damaging substances known as oxygen-free radicals, which are a normal byproduct of metabolism.

However, despite dark chocolate's apparent benefits, Ferri urges caution when interpreting the results. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, but also a lot of fat and calories, Ferri said, and people who want to add some chocolate to their diet need to subtract an equivalent amount of calories by cutting back on other foods, to avoid weight gain.

He added that each 100 grams of dark chocolate contains roughly 500 calories.

Other research validates that when it comes to chocolate, type does matter. One study found that eating milk chocolate did little to raise antioxidant levels in the blood, perhaps because milk interferes with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate.

Another study showed that elderly people with high blood pressure experienced a drop in pressure after eating dark chocolate bars, but not white chocolate, which contains no flavonoids.

Ferri and colleagues asked 7 men and 8 women, all healthy, to eat 100 grams of dark chocolate or 90 grams of white chocolate every day for 15 days. The subjects consumed no chocolate for the next 7 days and then switched to the other chocolate type for 15 days.

Ferri's team found that after eating dark chocolate, participants' blood pressure decreased, and they showed improvements in insulin sensitivity, meaning they were better able to metabolize glucose (sugar), according to the report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"The identification of healthy foods and the understanding of how food components influence normal physiology will help to improve the health of the population," Dr. Cesar G. Fraga of the University of California, Davis, notes in an accompanying editorial.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2005.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3.5 ounces daily? That's a lot of chocolate.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 5,648 • Replies: 47
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Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 01:59 pm
That must explain my very low blood pressure. I absolutely love dark chocolate. I cannot stand white chocolate.
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
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Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 01:59 pm
I agree with the study - Eating chocolate acts on me as a stress remover.

I call it "compensation kit".

Besides, I'm healthy.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 03:19 pm
I can't stand white chocolate at all.

Eating chocolate really is a stress remover, and it is a great prevention aid as well: I didn't get a cold this winter due to chocalate!
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 03:22 pm
Walter, keep a bit for me. With hazelnuts if you have so!
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 03:28 pm
Sorry, Francis.

You see, my big problem is (besides that I DO like most chocolades with nuts, than almonds):
when I open a bar, I have to eat it, because I can't wrap it up again so needly as before.

The prime reason, however, is that chocolate (especially with nuts, almonds ...) gets rotten, when it is too long in contact with oxygen.

[Before you ask further: I inspect every bar shortly after I buy it!]

Link
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 03:39 pm
Ha!!

Sozlet said this to me yesterday as she lobbied for another piece of Easter chocolate -- "chocolate is good for you." I said um, no. So she's on my lap and I read this and laugghed and said, "you're right, chocolate is good for you!", prompting an extremely self-satisfied smile.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 03:40 pm
Sozlet is a wise young lady!
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Synonymph
 
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Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 03:41 pm
White chocolate is NOT real chocolate. Even the best kind tastes wrong.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 03:51 pm
I was going to ask that very thing, re white chocolate. What is it, exactly?
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 03:56 pm
Cinnesthesia wrote:
White chocolate is NOT real chocolate. Even the best kind tastes wrong.


You are so right: white chocolate is an aberration like Moby Dick or Antoine LeBlanc.
0 Replies
 
Synonymph
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 04:19 pm
Dark chocolate is heavenly, but the saturated fat in "only" 3.5 oz. is pretty high. I'm looking at a bar of Dagoba 74% cacao content organic chocolate, 2 oz. (56.7 g) ...1/2 bar (1 oz.) is considered one serving and contains 11g of total fat (7 g saturated) and 159 calories. But who am I to argue with Investigators from the University of L'Aquila?
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 05:14 pm
Chocolate is one of those things that I swear is genetically linked. I cannot stand chocolate. I may as well eat clay with sugar. It has a repulsive bitterness that I find offensive. Maybe thats why i have to take BP medicine.

Id like to hear from anyone that also hates chocolate ( and , in order to please help the campaign , please send a platinum cased Tag Heuer chronograph to
Farmermans campaign
down by the feedmill
S of Strasburg Pa.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 06:38 pm
I live for chocolate! I easily can substitute a good meal
for chocolate - but not any chocolate, only Milka!

Dark chocolate is too bitter for me - I'll let you have it all
Cinnesthesia, and luckily farmerman isn't interested at all Wink
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 01:41 am
Milka is okay for everyday consumption or just 'in-between'.

Farmerman (and/or his campaign) should be outlawed! :wink:
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 05:43 am
Ok , you can stop it by just sending the TAg Heuer watch to the same address, Im easy
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 06:39 am
I'll have to think about that - but it seems really worth to do so!
0 Replies
 
Synonymph
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 09:08 am
Anyone (especially a FARMER) who hates chocolate couldn't possibly be human, could they?
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 09:16 am
Well, I don't hate chocolate, but I'm fairly neutral about it. It tastes good, but I don't crave it the way most people seem to. I usually pass on it.

Oh, and I really don't like coffee. I've wondered if that's related to my disinterest in chocolate.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 09:21 am
Actually, I've never met someone who doesn't like chocolate.

I have a book that's called "Why women need chocolate"
and it's quite plausible, so now I have it in writing,
that chocolate is good for you. Laughing

Walter, I know there are better ones out there than Milka,
I'm just partial to the purple cow Wink
0 Replies
 
 

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