Cholesterol: Who Said We Have To Avoid Sweets?

High cholesterol doesn’t mean we have to choose between pleasure and health…

Often, a few tweaks and a little ingenuity are all it takes to meet the needs of our organization to satisfy our sweet tooth – with expert guidance.

The good news is that scientists have now linked cocoa and dark chocolate consumption to varying degrees of improvement in total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and fasting blood glucose.

In particular, he examined the effect of cocoa consumption on cardiovascular disease risk factors and found that they may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

However, the researchers also noted that cocoa consumption did not affect body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, triglycerides, “good” HDL cholesterol, and HbA1c, an important biomarker of diabetes.

Sweet treats are allowed

According to a study published in Scientific Review MDPI Daily consumption of dark chocolate or cocoa extract was associated with an average reduction in:

  • 8.35 mg/dL (total cholesterol)
  • 9.47 mg/dL (LDL cholesterol)
  • 4.91 mg/dL fasting blood glucose
  • 2.52 mmHg (systolic blood pressure)
  • 1.58 mmHg (diastolic blood pressure)

“Cocoa is a good source of catechins and other polyphenolic compounds flavanols known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can improve cardiovascular health,” said cardiologists Medical news today.

“It is rich in flavonoids, including epicatechin, which help support heart and blood vessel health,” the experts point out.

Smart information: Because epicatechin in cocoa products is sensitive to heat and can degrade during production, it may be affected by processing and storage conditions.

It is very rare to find so many nutrients concentrated in one product. The effects of cocoa flavonoids on the heart and blood circulation are due in part to their ability to inhibit cholesterol oxidation and atherosclerotic plaque formation.

In fact, a comparative study by Cornell University’s Department of Food Science and Technology shows that cocoa (1 cup) has twice the antioxidant activity of red wine (1 cup), three times and five times that of green tea (1 cup). black tea (1 cup).

In short, based on its properties, cocoa can be a very beneficial food for the body and should be part of a balanced diet.

A nutritious, varied diet provides a wider range of nutrients and protective compounds against cardiovascular disease, including fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, nuts, lean protein, and whole grains.

Important reminder: Moderation is key. Eating too much chocolate of any kind, including dark, can lead to high intakes of sugar and saturated fat, which can have negative effects on heart health. If we are not sure about the amount allowed for our consumption, we consult our doctor or nutritionist.

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