Chocolate could lower heart attack risk: study

Indulging in a daily dose of up to 100g of chocolate might lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

The latest in fluctuating news for chocoholics is that there may be no need to cut out the treat to be heart-healthy.

The University of Aberdeen research found that, compared with people who ate no chocolate, those with a higher intake were 11 per cent less likely to have a heart attack.

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They also were 25 per cent less likely to die from a heart problem and 23 per cent less likely to have a stroke.

But Heart Foundation dietician Shane Landon said Australians should focus on increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables they eat, rather than the amount of chocolate.

The study analysed data from the EPIC-Norfolk study of almost 21,000 adults who answered food frequency and lifestyle questionnaires.

Their health was monitored for almost 12 years.

The scientists also reviewed data relating to links between chocolate and heart disease, involving 158,000 people.

The authors said that dark chocolate is usually said to have more beneficial effects than milk chocolate, but milk chocolate was more frequently eaten by the Norfolk participants.

“There does not appear to be any evidence to say that chocolate should be avoided in those who are concerned about cardiovascular risk,” the researchers concluded.

But Mr Landon said most sources of chocolate are high in sugar and saturated fat which is not beneficial for heart health.

“The Heart Foundation recommends a better way to reduce your risk of heart disease is to eat a healthy, balanced diet, get a daily dose of physical activity, reduce the time you spend sitting, keep your weight in a healthy range and not smoke,” he said.


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