Largest Study to Date Links Chocolate to Lower Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Risk

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Just in the nick of time -- before the Easter chocolate consumption begins, comes a study letting us know that a small amount of that dark Easter chocolate may be heart healthy. Just released is the largest observational study to date looking at the association between chocolate consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease. And the researchers have announced ... drum roll please ... that those who ate the most chocolate -- around 7.5 g (about a quarter of an ounce) per day -- had a 39% lower risk of MI and stroke than individuals who ate almost no chocolate. Here are the details from an article in MedScape: Lead author Dr Brian Buijsse (German Institute of Human Nutrition, Nuthetal, Germany) told HeartWire, "This shows that habitual consumption of chocolate is related…
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How to Make Chocolate a Healthy Indulgence

General Health
The benefits of being a chocolate lover From Health magazine This ultimate feel-good food keeps your heart healthy, mood up, and body in great shape. Find out what all this natural ingredient can do for you. Here's a just-in-time-for-Easter article on the benefits of being a chocolate lover from Health magazine. This ultimate feel-good food, in moderation, can keep your heart healthy, your mood up, and your body in great shape. Read on to find out what all this natural health food can do for you. Heart helper Chocotini, anyone? A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate dark chocolate had less of a protein that indicates inflammation, which can lead to a heart attack. A more recent study showed that just one small square of chocolate a…
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8 Easter Treats Under 80 Calories

Nutritional Health
Want to enjoy an Easter treat or two, while keeping rein on those calories? It's hard to resist that innocent-looking chocolate bunny or all those pastel-colored sugary treats that appear every spring. So how do you keep from packing on extra pounds with bathing suit season just around the corner? Here are some tips from our friends at Health.com -- what they call "no-guilt nibbles." Eight healthy ways to indulge your sweet tooth that won't ruin your beach bod. No-guilt nibbles From Health magazine It's hard to resist that innocent-looking chocolate bunny or all those pastel-colored sugary treats that appear every spring. So how do you keep from packing on extra pounds with bathing suit season just around the corner? We've got eight healthy ways to indulge your sweet tooth that won't…
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10 Easy Food Swaps Cut Cholesterol, Not Taste

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
Holiday weekends are not necessarily the easiest time to cut unhealthy and saturated fats. But, according to this practical article from Health.com, it couldn't be easier to cut cholesterol without cutting taste. Many of my patients are afraid that any meals that are "good for my cholesterol" are meals that are joyless (and tasteless). However, a low-cholesterol diet doesn't have to be all oat bran and tofu. If you want to know more, here are some simple substitutions that you can make to the food you already eat to help fight cholesterol painlessly. 1) Sprinkle walnuts, skip croutons Carbohydrates can cause high levels of a type of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol. For a healthier salad, replace your carbo-laden croutons with walnuts, which are high in polyunsaturated…
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10 Best Foods for Your Heart

Heart Health, Nutritional Health
As we head into the Easter weekend, I wanted to offer you some blogs on healthier nutrition choices. Here are ten choices that you can make that will be heart healthy and are adapted from an article at Health.com. 1) Oatmeal Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear. Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber—and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber. 2) Salmon Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of…
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