Why chocolate is good for you

WELL_Chocolate_0213

Eat up (the good stuff, that is): A National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart study showed that people who ate chocolate five times per week were 49 percent less likely to have heart disease than those who ate no chocolate.
Credit: Pixland

Sweethearts needn’t feel guilty about giving, or receiving chocolate this Valentine’s Day. According to University of Scranton chemistry professor Joe Vinson, Ph.D., chocolate’s healthy rep as being antioxidant-rich is growing.
“I keep looking for the bad,” says Vinson, who was among the first researchers to report that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, was good for your heart. “But I still can’t find any negatives to chocolate. Polyphenols are good for you and chocolate has lots of them.”
Polyphenols, a class of compounds present in plant foods that have antioxidant properties, reputedly scavenge free radicals that damage cells and make them more vulnerable to diseases like cancer.
But not all chocolate is created equal. It’s important to select pure chocolate and not candy bars, and make sure it has a high amount of cocoa solids. The higher the cocoa solids, the higher the antioxidant effect. In his research, Vinson found chocolate containing 70 percent cocoa solids had twice the polyphenols as 35 percent. Vinson advises choosing 70 percent or higher for health.
The consensus is that moderate dark chocolate consumption has health benefits. But how much is moderate?
“I can’t confirm an amount for health,” Vinson says. “In studies comparing low dose and high dose, there was no noticeable benefit from the higher dose. One study found that blood pressure benefited after one dark chocolate Hershey Kiss. It happened over a four-month period. So, possibly, a low dose of chocolate over time has the most beneficial effect.”

What about white?
White chocolate, made of cocoa butter and sugar, has no detectable polyphenols and no known health benefit — in fact, Vinson says it can make things worse: “Fat and sugar cause oxidative stress in the body.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.