Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Chocolate: Science answers the question, is it really good for health?

Chocolate has a long and illustrious reputation. made from cocoa, which is derived from the beans of the cacao tree (whose scientific name translates as “food of the gods”), was used in many of the first Mesoamerican cultures as In the form of food, medicine, ritual offerings and perhaps even currency. It is no less valuable in modern times; According to market research firm Statista, the global chocolate market grew nearly 20% between 2016 and 2021, with an estimated $980 billion in revenue in 2021.

Taste certainly plays a part in the popularity of chocolate, but you may have also heard that this delicious recipe it is good for your health. What does science say about this notion?

“Clearly, cocoa is good for your health,” said Daryush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and professor of nutrition at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. “that he chocolate is it good for you or not It will depend on how much cocoa actually is in it and what other ingredients are in it.

cocoa beans are Packed with fiber and “loads of phytonutrients,” Mozaffarian referred to natural chemicals found in plants. It is believed that cocoa contains approx. 380 Chemicals, Among them are a large class of compounds called flavanols, which have generated great research interest for their potential health benefits. However, there isn’t much clarity on how many flavanols and other phytonutrients are needed for better health, or whether your favorite candy bar has enough components to do so. Moreover, experts have different opinions on this issue.

Cocoa was used by many early Mesoamerican cultures as food, medicine, ritual offering, and perhaps even currency.

“Milk chocolate typically contains about 20% cocoa,” Mozaffarian said, although the cocoa content can vary. No trivial fact that the United States Food and Drug Administration requires that milk chocolate contain at least ten percent cocoa, but some milk chocolate bars contain up to 50% or more.

Dark chocolate usually contains more cocoa than milk chocolate, But it can also vary greatly, which is why Mozaffarian recommends reading product labels carefully. For potential health benefits, Mozaffarian We recommend choosing dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa.

Read Also:  US suspends Mexican avocado imports on eve of Super Bowl

multiple clinical trials Small and short-term studies in humans have found that dark chocolate or standardized cocoa supplements or beverages can Moderately lowers blood pressure and improves blood cholesterol levels and blood vessel health in adults. “In addition, some studies based on long-term observation have found that people who eat more cocoa may have a lower risk of certain heart diseases,” Mozaffarian said.

In a systematic review published in February in JAMA Network Open, Mozaffarian and colleagues examined how certain foods and nutrients were associated with heart health problems. they found “probable or convincing evidence” that Eating chocolate reduces the risk of heart disease. They calculated that a daily intake of just ten grams was associated with a six percent reduction in overall risk of heart disease.

In adults, dark chocolate or cocoa supplements or drinks may lower blood pressure, improve blood cholesterol levels, and improve blood vessel health.
In adults, dark chocolate or cocoa supplements or drinks may lower blood pressure, improve blood cholesterol levels, and improve blood vessel health.Kindness Comprehensive Nurturing

“However, these types of estimates are based on observational studies, which have important limitations,” said Joan Manson, director of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. These studies can only identify links between eating chocolate and health; They cannot prove that chocolate produces benefits: “People who eat more chocolate may differ in other ways that affect their health,” Manson said.

The findings of observational studies have also been inconsistent. “Some people have found no benefit and others have found that people who eat chocolate regularly or more often are more likely to gain weight,” Manson said. These types of studies also usually do not consider different types of chocolate, which may differ in terms of their cocoa content. apart from this The amount of fat, sugar and calories can negate any health benefits that come from cocoa.

To address some of these shortcomings, Manson and his colleagues conducted a large randomized trial of more than 21,000 older adults in the United States. Half of the participants were given a cocoa extract supplement containing 500 mg of cocoa flavanols, and the other half were given a placebo. The results of the study, called the Cosmos trial, were published in June in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Read Also:  Moms made it work during the pandemic - but at what cost?

After following the participants for 3.6 years, the researchers found that the cocoa supplement group was not statistically less likely to experience cardiovascular events, including heart attack and stroke, compared to the placebo group, but it was a 27% reduction in cardiovascular deaths. Manson called these results “promising signs for heart protection,” though he stressed that a further trial is needed to confirm the findings before they can be translated into recommendations for cocoa flavonoid intake.

Dark chocolate usually contains more cocoa than milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate usually contains more cocoa than milk chocolate.Shutterstock

It is important to note that the Cosmos test did not give the participants chocolate, but Concentrated capsules of cocoa extract, produced by chocolate maker Mars which also partially funded the study. “To get the same amount of bioactive cocoa flavanols from chocolate, a person would have to eat About 4,000 calories of milk chocolate or 600 calories of dark chocolate a day,” Manson, who noted that a large proportion of flavanols can be destroyed during chocolate processing.

Chocolate “is a wonderful dish, but when it comes to treating it as a healthy food, I think” It has limits.”Manson said.

“Most of the research, including yours, into the potential health benefits of chocolate and cocoa has been funded by chocolate companies like Mars,” Manson said. “These tests are expensive, and government funding for nutrition studies in general is limited,” he said. Research shows results from studies sponsored by the food industry, including chocolate are more likely to be friendly to the companies that finance them, Manson, however, said that Mars was not involved in the design or analysis of the test.

For his part, Mozaffarian is convinced by existing research that dark chocolate has a 70% or more cocoa is probably beneficial for heart health, Even though it contains fewer flavanols than the flavanols tested in the trial. “Eating small amounts of dark chocolate every day is probably great for us, and It will please us, because it has a very rich taste”, Told.

Mozaffarian said he receives no funding from the chocolate industry, but acknowledged conflicts of interest when it comes to this particular food. “My struggle is that I love dark chocolate,” he said.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news
- Advertisement -