Chocolate, the Energy Food

Chocolate lovers every where have

been viewing the studies showing

dark chocolate as having certain

health benefits with excitement.

These studies have also pushed

some dietitians to believe that

chocolate contributes to a healthy

diet. It is unfortunate that the

evidence in both preliminary and

contradictory. Chocolate is an

energy dense food, and responsible

health care providers should use

caution when making

recommendations about including it

in a healthy diet.

Chocolate has been linked to

cardiovascular disease because of

the high concentration of fat,

most of which is saturated.

However, the saturated fat in

chocolate is stearic acid, which

does not seem to cause cholesterol

levels to rise after it is eaten.

Increased risk of heart disease

has been associated with higher

levels of stearic acid in some

population studies. Mainly

because foods that are high in

stearic acid also have high levels

of other saturated fats, these do

cause elevation of cholesterol


While some studies have found that

eating dark chocolate is not

harmful to serum cholesterol

levels, reports that dark

chocolate is able to improve

cholesterol concentrations are

mixed. No matter what the effect

of cocoa products on cholesterol

concentrations, they have been

shown to decrease the likelihood

of LDL cholesterol oxidizing in

tests. Another cardio-protective

action of cocoa products is the

ability to thin the blood by

decreasing platelet activation.

These studies have shown a

decrease in platelet activity

after being given cocoa beverages,

cocoa flavonol supplements or dark


During studies of the Khuna

Indians in Panama it has been

observed that low blood pressure

is lower among this tribe who are

heavy cocoa users. Several

clinical studies have supported

this theory that cocoa may have

favorable effects on blood

pressure and flow. Other studies

have shown that it would take at a

minimum of 100 grams of flavonol

rich dark chocolate to decrease

blood pressure by an observable


Thank you,

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About The Author, Carmen Sandago
C. SanDago used to be an office and motel cleaner earning minimum wage on a contract by contract basis, working very hard to make ends meet. Being forced to stay at home after her baby, she says it was like a "visit from an angel"... She had to find a way to earn a living from home... with no pedigree, a high school dropout it was like a live changing event! Today she makes in excess of $80,000 a month and enjoys an extraordinary life! She considers herself extremely fortunate