Chocolate Cures Heart Disease

Chocolate Cures Heart Disease

NO, not really!  But you knew that.  I was just pulling your leg.   Chocolate is tasty, but that’s about all.

I bet, though, that you have heard about all the studies in recent years proving that cocoa flavonols, naturally-occurring compounds found in cocoa beans, are “heart-healthy.”

In fact, a 2015 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition entitled Cocoa flavonol intake improves endothelial function and Framingham Risk Score in healthy men and women:  a randomized, controlled, double-masked trial:  the Flaviola Health Study said so (i.e., the cells lining your blood vessels work better when you eat chocolate, or so candy companies would like you to think…)

What that study did loudly proclaim was that Mars (makers of Twix, Milky Way and Snickers bars) funded the study.  And that Mars provided one of their employees to help design the study, and then write the conclusion.  And, oh, yes, they provided the special flavonol-enriched cocoa product used in the study, because normally, flavonols are easily destroyed in processing.  Which means a cup of hot chocolate or some chocolate cookies ain’t gonna save your life, yo.

The folks over at industry rag ConfectionaryNews.com, however, (which offers “breaking news on confectionary & biscuit processing”) would have you believe otherwise.  Their headline back in 2013 trumpeted flavonols as a SUPER INGREDIENT!  Wow, start funneling the chocolate syrup directly into your blow-hole, folks:

Healthy chocolate? The growing evidence for cocoa flavanols

By Nathan Gray+, 25-Jun-2013

The meteoric emergence of cocoa flavanols as the new ‘super ingredient’ continues, with many new scientific publications focused on the potential health effects of these special compounds. As part of this special edition, we take a look at some of the highlights.

http://www.confectionerynews.com/R-D/Healthy-chocolate-The-growing-evidence-for-cocoa-flavanols

And Mars’ own website even cops to the not-so-much about flavonols once you turn cocoa beans into moonpies.  Check it out at Mars’ own website, marscocoascience.com:

Are Cocoa Flavanols Found in All Cocoa or Chocolate-Based Products?

No, not in consistent or guaranteed amounts. The fresh cacao bean, from the cocoa pod or “fruit,” is naturally rich in flavanols. However, cocoa flavanols are easily destroyed during normal processing and not all cocoa-based products will contain significant levels of these beneficial compounds.

Really, I’m not making these websites or quotes up.  No one is that imaginative.  My point is, remember what Mr. Brady always said: “Caveat Emptor” when taking nutrition advice from someone offering you candy.

To read the entire study for yourself, go here:

British Journal of Nutrition

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