Good news for chocolate lovers

All chocolate lovers wish their favorite indulgence could somehow be healthy. Now, chocolate makers claim they have granted that wish.

Mars Inc., maker of Milky Way, Snickers and M&M's candies, next month plans to launch nationwide a new line of products made with a dark chocolate the company claims has health benefits.

Called CocoaVia, the products are made with a kind of dark chocolate high in flavanols, an antioxidant found in cocoa beans thought to have a blood-thinning effect similar to aspirin and may even lower blood pressure.

The snacks also are enriched with vitamins and injected with plant sterols from soy, which may help lower cholesterol, reports Chicago Sun-Times.

Published on Jan. 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), a study reports eating flavanol-rich cocoa products improves cardiovascular health.

The results suggest frequent intake of cocoa flavanols can have biological effects with important implications for long-term cardiovascular health.

Another study published in the Oct. 4, 2005, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology also found that chocolate flavanols can boost the levels of nitric oxide in the blood of smokers and reverse some of their smoking-related impairment in blood vessel function.

However, it has yet to be proved that eating dark chocolate is a way to protect against heart disease. Many are concerned about the high saturated fat in chocolate, which is known to be a risk to heart health.

Flavanol is also found in some fruits and vegetables which may provide the same antioxidative capacity with less saturated fat and calories attached, informs Food Consumer.


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Author`s name Editorial Team