squares of dark chocolate, improve your health with chocolate

Australian researchers estimate that investing about $40 a year in dark chocolate could be a cost-effective strategy for reducing the risk of heart disease. This conclusion is the result of a complex mathematical model based on data from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle study and from the medical literature. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids that can relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure, help prevent blood clots and lower insulin resistance. The analysis assumed that people with metabolic syndrome would eat dark chocolate every day for 10 years.

The hypothetical dose is high, about 100 grams of chocolate daily. Although the Australian researchers did not include weight gain in their model, this would add up to a lot of calories. Even though most people find dark chocolate a pleasant and therefore sustainable treatment option, some might prefer fewer calories. Research over the past several years supported by Mars Botanical has shown that the company’s CocoaVia product with 250 mg of cocoa flavanols per serving has a significant positive effect on blood vessels without the calories of chocolate.

[BMJ online, May 31, 2012]

Join Over 145,000 Subscribers
at The People's Pharmacy

Get our FREE daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show.

  1. Pam
    chapel hill, nc
    Reply

    Hi Joe and Terry, I have a question. Any association with eating dark chocolate and possible gall stones? I am about to attempt chocolate/sweet potato brownies with maple syrup…

  2. DS
    Reply

    Congratulations on your lab reports! I got myself off of BP medicine by purchasing a RESPeRATE unit. I try to use it every day, but even a few days a week seems to help. My doctor said I could just stop taking the Diovan and to monitor my blood pressure. I suggest you look into it. My doctor knew nothing about it when I showed it to him. He doesn’t seem to understand why I want OFF of medicines.
    Be sure to check with your doctor if you try to get off BP meds. I hear that some of them have a “rebound” effect. Diovan is not one of those as far as I understand.

  3. Robert S
    Reply

    I started using CocoaVia after listening to a Peoples Pharmacy show talking about the benefits of chocolate. I used it for 1 1/2 months before my annual physical in May. I don’t know if the Cocoavia was the cause, but my HDL cholesterol had jumped from 58 to 78 and my LDL had dropped considerably. My doctor wrote fantastic on the lab report he sent me.
    I am hoping someday to get off my blood pressure medicine, Lisinopril, by losing weight, more exercise and continuing the CocoaVia.
    Joe or Terry, do the chocolate studies say anything about it lowering LDL and raising HDL?

  4. JWA
    Reply

    I also make a sort of chocolate pudding using vegetable protein powders, cocoa, and carob powder, adding some sweetener, zanthan gum, and sugar-free chocolate syrup. Tastes delicious and is low calorie.

  5. DS
    Reply

    The date recipe sounds good. Thank you.
    I find it frustrating that as more of the benefits of DARK chocolate are found, I find more and more MILK chocolate and sugary chocolate in my grocery stores.

  6. Bfm
    Reply

    What about plain Hershey’s cocoa, which is not Dutch-processed? I make it by adding several tablespoons of cocoa to a little almond milk, and mixing to form a paste. I then add additional hot almond milk, some stevia, vanilla extract and a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil (to ensure absorption of any fat-soluble components). This is low-cal, low-carb, low-fat and a great night cap! Tastes like a dessert.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: sounds delicious!

  7. tk
    Reply

    Wow, would really like to be able to buy chocolate
    $40 per year! it’s usually $2-3 per 100g,.so that’s $700
    per year!
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: You’re right. We can’t quite figure out what is going on in Australia that these mathematicians came up with such a price.

  8. MR
    Reply

    I like to use raw cacao powder to get the benefits of chocolate without refined sugar. I mix a heaping teaspoon of cacao powder in a small amount of water or tea, and I like to throw in a teaspoon or so of maca powder for its health benefits too. I stir that into a paste, and then stir in a tablespoon or so of coconut oil, which we now know is a healthy fat. Then I add a dash of water on top. This makes sort of an unsweetened chocolate pudding that some people would not like, but I do!
    I also like to take pitted dates and stuff them with a paste of cacao powder mixed with real butter. The dates are so sweet, with the bitter chocolate filling the whole effect is quite tasty. They can be slightly messy unless they’re refrigerated. To serve to others, you could even cut them in half and stick a toothpick in them.

  9. peppy
    Reply

    Great news! Is there caffeine in this product? Caffeine gives me migraine. Also, is there a stevia sweetened choice for my husband who is diabetic?

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.