pieces of dark chocolate and shavings of cocoa _ effects of chocolate on heart health
Heart and Vascular

Can Eating Chocolate Really Lower Your Cholesterol?

May 31 2018

Curious if chocolate is healthy for you? Here’s how dark chocolate affects your heart health.

Recent health studies show that eating dark chocolate can drastically reduce the low-density lipoprotein in your blood. Low-density lipoprotein or LDL is what is also known as, “bad cholesterol.”  Lowering LDL particles in your body can also reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in America for both men and women.

The cocoa content in chocolate determines its health levels. Dark chocolate’s high cocoa level is what makes it more beneficial than other chocolates, including milk and white chocolate. When you’re searching for a healthy dark chocolate, it’s best to look for one that has been processed as little as possible. Search for shorter ingredient lists with names you recognize.

Consuming dark chocolate in moderate amounts each day has been proven to lower blood pressure by approximately two to three points.  It can also improve blood vessel function and heart circulation in just one month.

Along with lowering bad cholesterol, dark chocolate has also led to the improvement of “good cholesterol” levels, also called HDL cholesterol. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which have antioxidant capabilities.

Health benefits of dark chocolate

In addition to heart health, dark chocolate is also linked to other wellness improvements, including the following:

  • Lower body mass index
  • Short-term alertness
  • Enhanced eyesight
  • UV protection

Not a fan of dark chocolate? Try swapping out almonds instead. Almonds have been proven to possess many of the same benefits as dark chocolate, when eating one-third cup.

Limiting your intake of LDL cholesterol can help keep your arteries free from cholesterol buildup and lower your risk of heart disease. By incorporating dark chocolate into your daily nutrition, you can improve your well-being and create a heart-healthy diet.

Want to learn more about your heart health? Take our free, online heart risk assessment today.

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