You may be confused about the heart-health benefits of chocolate. Here is the skinny on chocolate: if you consume chocolate the right way, a little goes a long way in improving heart health.
Why Chocolate Is Good For Your Heart
High-quality chocolate that has undergone minimal processing contains several natural ingredients that can help your heart. Real chocolate contains antioxidants, which have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. Another benefit from chocolate is flavanols, which can reduce your risk of blood clots and help with blood flow throughout your cardiovascular system.
Pick the Right Chocolate
Not all types of chocolate have heart-health benefits. If your favorite piece of chocolate is sweet and mellow in flavor, it is not the right chocolate. You need chocolate in its purest form in order to reap the benefits. Dark chocolate is recommended for its health benefits, but you need to read the label. If your dark chocolate has other tasty ingredients, they may be just adding to the fat and calorie content. Look for plain dark chocolate that has undergone minimal processing.
Another heart-healthy chocolate is cacao powder. Just like dark chocolate, cacao powders that have undergone minimal processing are ideal. You can add a serving of cacao powder to milk or coffee to enjoy the benefits.
Eat the Right Amount
For heart-healthy benefits, you should consume small amounts of chocolate throughout the week. In general, you should eat approximately an ounce a few times per week to help your heart, while not introducing enough fat and calories into your diet to negate your exercise regimen. If you love chocolate and find such a small amount of chocolate to be unsatisfying, the best way to consume chocolate is to allow it to melt in your mouth to savor the taste for a while.
We Can Help!
Do you want to know how to include chocolate in your diet in the healthiest way? Give Brookhaven Heart a call at (631) 654-3278 to set up an appointment.