I read this report from the British Medical Journal and nearly fell out of my chair. Adults with higher levels of chocolate consumption have a “substantial reduction” in the risk of cardio-metabolic disorders (heart attack and stroke), according to a paper published online this week.
The relationship between consuming chocolate and having diabetes, heart attack or stroke was investigated in 114,000 people. At the highest level of chocolate consumption, there was a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk and a 29% reduction in stroke risk. What is really baffling is that one study reported a lower risk of diabetes at the highest level of chocolate consumption.
How could this be true? Cocoa products containing flavanol may have the potential to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. This new study suggests a one-third reduction in the risk of cardio-metabolic disorders among adults at higher levels of chocolate consumption. I’m not sure what we do with this information except conclude that chocolate might be a factor in the prevention of stroke and heart disease if consumed in moderation– so maybe we embrace this along with efforts to reduce the sugar and fat content in chocolate?