Could this be the news we’ve all been waiting for? Researchers at the University of Aberdeen appear to have found evidence that a certain food is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. So what is this wonder food – an exotic berry from deep in the Amazon, perhaps, or the latest high-tech health supplement? No – believe it or not, it’s the humble chocolate bar.
The study, published by the British Medical Journal’s ‘Heart’ magazine, found that people who ate a small bar of chocolate every day had an 11% lower risk of heart disease and a 23% lower risk of stroke compared to those who ate no chocolate.
By studying the long-term health of 25,000 men and women in Norfolk, researchers observed a reduction in the instances of both diseases over 12 years in those who consumed a maximum of 100g of chocolate a day. However, chocoholics shouldn’t rejoice just yet – those involved in the study are quick to point out that they have not yet uncovered any solid evidence to suggest that chocolate itself is the cause of the reduction in these diseases among study participants.
While other studies have suggested that the consumption of chocolate may have an effect on rates of cardiovascular disease, the University of Aberdeen report found that those who ate chocolate regularly also tended to already have lower weight, lower blood pressure and a lower risk of diabetes – along with being more likely to carry out physical exercise – all of which adds up to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
They also pointed out that most chocolate-eating participants ate an average of 7g of chocolate a day – so it’s probably advisable not to start breaking out the king-size snacks straight away. Instead, experts suggest that the message to be taken away from the study is that for those of a healthy weight, eating chocolate doesn’t detectably increase the risk of stroke and heart disease – and that it may even have some benefits.
So what does that mean for all us chocolate lovers? Well, while we can’t turn to our favourite food as a miracle fitness solution just yet, the good news is that as part of a regime consisting of a balanced diet and plenty of exercise it could well help us to fight off illness later in life. And at Caloo, that’s exactly what we’re about – combining things we enjoy with things that have a positive impact on our health. With our range of outdoor gym equipment, we help adults and children to combine exercise with having fun and enjoying the great outdoors – and now you can even enjoy a guilt-free (small) bar of chocolate along with your workout too!