First, a bit of background on types and strengths of chocolate:
Chocolate chips and all manner of sweetened baking chocolates are included in this group.The higher the percentage of cacao, the more bitter the taste. This explains why chocolates with the least amount of sugar are most often called bittersweet. Those with higher amounts of sugar are called semisweet.
Flavanols are the plant chemicals which are believed to help protect the heart, and studies are indicating that these flavanols help to relax blood vessels and improved blood flow, thereby lowering blood pressure.
Flavanols in chocolate have also been associated with reducing the risk of diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity in short term studies.
Dark chocolate is considered healthier than milk chocolate because dark chocolate contains up to 2-3 times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids than milk chocolate. This, combined with the fact that dark chocolate contains less sugar and fewer milk solids, is why more and more studies are leaning towards including dark chocolate in a healthy diet.
One study in particular, conducted by Harvard in June of 2017, found that there seems to be a direct link between moderate chocolate consumption and a lower risk for irregular heartbeats.
Granted, no one is suggesting that we all go out and start eating pounds of the fudgy goodness. But the study, which was performed on 55,500 people, clearly suggested that those who ate 2-6 servings per week had a 20% lower chance of irregular heartbeats, also known as atrial fibrillation, one of the major contributors to stroke, clots and heart failure.
And that’s good enough for this chocolate lover.
You might also be interested in...
Get this 10-pg. booklet FREE when you sign up for Uncommonly Chocolate's monthly "Chocolate Chips."
I’ve spent a lifetime looking for the perfect chocolate cake – cocoa flavored, moist, dense yet tender, with a true fudge icing. Who knew it was right under my nose all along?
Hot chocolate drinks are a natural choice for cold weather. Alcoholic or not, they are sure to keep you warm on frosty evenings. Here are a few to get you started.
Santa Fe is known for its climate and art galleries. Now come discover Santa Fe chocolates. Chocolate elixirs are a specialty, but how about chocolate covered chile peppers?
Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie gives a new twist to an old favorite. It turns a deadly sweet dessert into a rich treat fit for royalty.
In my perpetual quest to find the perfect chocolate mousse, I've discovered it's all about the air bubbles.
For rich, fresh roasted flavor, you can't go wrong with A Hill of Beans coffees, both flavored and straight roasts.
Discover the wonderful taste of sugar-free chocolate that even diabetics can eat. It’s low carb and teeth-friendly, and it's even high in fiber.