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Friday, November 18, 2011

Dark Chocolate, My New BF

As if chocolate lovers needed research studies to justify the consumption of the dark, delicious stuff…

Still, there is additional good news about chocolate. It comes in the form of a Harvard study that was recently announced in Atlanta at the American Heart Association’s science session on cardiovascular disease. This study found that one square of chocolate a day can help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension, as well as increase insulin sensitivity which aids in lowering the risk of diabetes.
And the news gets better. The Harvard researchers also found evidence that dark chocolate affects cholesterol. A small decrease in LDL (bad) and a significant increase in HDL (good) cholesterol were noted. Further, the researchers sited “rather strong evidence” that dark chocolate improves several important cardiovascular risk factors and “likely reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

So, aside from the promising medical implication that chocolate is beneficial to our hearts, I must admit that it always did my heart good to read the message inside the Dove chocolate foil. I take it personally when I read, “Your smile lights up the room” or “You’re exactly where you should be.” This chocolate is not only delicious, but the people who make it seem to know things about us. That, too, is comforting in these impersonal times; just another reason to indulge in it.

So far, my best relationship has been with chocolate, and the Harvard study simply confirms what I already knew.

Laraine Jablon

Laraine Jablon, BA, MA, is a freelance writer specializing in social, health, and spiritual concerns of seniors. She resides in Nesconset, New York, and welcomes your thoughts.