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Moderate chocolate consumption linked to lower cholesterol

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Chocolate may be associated with higher levels of fat - a common risk factor of heart disease - but a new study has found that moderate cocoa consumption may help to lower cholesterol.

Cholesterol tests showed lower levels of LDL - or bad cholesterol - for those who consumed the highest levels of chocolate.

However, not all chocolates are the same. The study found that only high-quality, dark chocolate had heart health benefits. Additionally, the research team said that consuming too much chocolate may also be harmful, and recommends less than 1.25 ounces per day.

Ruitai Hui, lead investigator, speculated that the antioxidants in chocolate may be the reason for the cholesterol-lowering effects, but said that more studies need to be done to assess the full benefits of the sweet.

"Future high-quality studies are needed to determine the efficiency of moderate cocoa consumption on lipid profiles in long-term intervention and in subjects with other cardio-metabolic risk factors," said Hui.

Prior studies have also shown that chocolate can help control blood pressure, adding to the evidence that moderate consumption may help heart health.

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