Is chocolate your love language? Fifty-eight million pounds of chocolate is purchased during the week of Valentine's Day alone, proving that most Americans are cuckoo for cocoa.
And maybe that’s not such a bad thing. You’ve probably seen the headlines about chocolate’s heart-healthy nature. Specifically, people who eat more chocolate have lower rates of heart attacks, heart failure, and even death from heart disease. The consumption of cocoa can raise your good cholesterol (HDL) and lower your bad cholesterol (LDL). Or that cocoa also has an impact on the arteries that carry blood through the body, which determine your blood pressure.
But is all this sweet talk too good to be true? Here’s just a small sample of what the research says.
Tasty. Tantalizing. Heart-Healthy?
We know that chocolate raises our levels of the happy hormone serotonin and triggers the release of dopamine (No wonder we’re addicted to the sweet stuff). But in addition to the short-term mood boost, high-cocoa chocolate is good for your long-term heart health for the following reasons:
The Type of Chocolate You Should Be Eating
Don’t get it twisted. You can’t eat a candy bar a day to keep heart disease away. But you can savor a square or two (one to two ounces) of high-quality dark chocolate. Aim for bittersweet chocolate with at least 60% or more cacao content. Artificial chocolate flavorings, milk chocolate candies, and white chocolate don’t count. Those sweet traps will only expand your waistline and cause the dreaded sugar crash.
A Love-Love Relationship
We love chocolate and, due to a range of health perks, apparently chocolate loves us. Just make sure to be choosy. Select really good dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao content and — like a fine red wine — enjoy it in moderation.
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