HYDERABAD: For those who have a sweet tooth, munching on a bar of chocolate need not anymore cause a feeling of guilt. It can save your heart. A study in Denmark, has found that eating chocolate helps reduce the risk of one type of irregular heartbeat. The study was conducted with 55,000 adults in Denmark. Known as Atrial Fibrillation, the heart’s upper chambers do not beat in rhythm with the lower chambers, leading to an irregular heartbeat.
With over 33 million people suffering from this defect worldwide, the condition leads to stroke, heart failure and even cognitive impairment. Dr. Sunil Kapoor, senior cardiologist at Care Hospital, says, “Chocolate definitely helps check heart diseases. However, only dark chocolate is advisable, as other kinds of chocolates have extra sugar and butter. Dark chocolate contains anti-oxidants that help in the rejuvenation of the heart. Chocolate calms not only the heart but also the mind. This is why you find chocolates on the pillows of 5-star hotels. The sight of chocolates immediately relaxes one’s mind.”
Chocolate lovers often indulge themselves in ice cream and Nutella. However, this study does not come as a boon to them. “Chocolate has a lot of phyto-nutrients that are useful for blood circulation and nerve- strengthening. However, everything should be eaten in moderation. Chocolate with added sugar, like in ice cream, reduces its benefits,” says Dr. Deepa Agarwal, a dietician. The study also claims that women are more at risk of irregular heartbeat than men, even while the same quantity of chocolate is consumed. However, this has been refuted by cardiologists.
“The beneficial properties of chocolate are applicable to both men and women,” says Dr Sunil. For all the diabetic patients with a craving, dark chocolate could be the answer. “Dark chocolate has lower sugar content and is the most beneficial of all types of chocolate. It’s the least sweetened. Therefore, if this research is to be believed, diabetic patients can eat dark chocolate in moderation. The more the sugar and butter in chocolate, the more harmful it gets,“ says, Dr. Narasu Raju, a cardiologist. A few specialists believe this study will increase the intake of chocolates, leading to weight gain. Dark chocolate with the least amount of sugar is the healthiest choice....