There's Good & Bad In Chocolate

New research is sending confusing messages about chocolate consumption. The findings of a previous study printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association was recently supported by German scientists who found that eating a bite of dark chocolate (approximately oz.) on a daily basis can lower blood pressure by improving arterial blood flow. This reduces the chance of clotting while lowering LDL cholesterol oxidation. Your body's levels of serotonin and endorphins are also elevated, adding to that feel good sensation that comes with eating chocolate.

On the down side, research recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that women who eat chocolate on a daily basis had 3.1% lower bone density than women who gave in to temptation just once a week. It's important to note that this study of 1001 females aged 70 to 85 asked for a diary-style record of chocolate consumption and did not limit intake or distinguish between dark and milk chocolate varieties.

The Bigger Picture: The underlying message here is that even something as decadent as chocolate can have benefits when enjoyed in moderation. Just like the occasional steak, slab of ribs or cheeseburger. Maintaining a healthy diet of nutritious whole foods and exercising regularly gives you the latitude to indulge in sensible ways. Also, strength training develops muscles as well as bones. So you chocolate lovers can increase bone density by including weight lifting as part of your training routine.
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