Good news! You may be able to enjoy those Valentine’s Day sweets this year after all. According to a study conducted by the American Heart Association, almonds and dark chocolate may help to reduce a risk factor that leads to coronary heart disease. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels were shown to be significantly lowered by a diet that included raw almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa. LDL or, as it is commonly referred to, “bad cholesterol” is found in our blood and it becomes part of plaque which can clog arteries. High levels of LDL will increase a person’s chances of having a heart attack or a stroke.
In the study, researchers found that, when consumed together, almonds, dark chocolate, and cocoa had a positive effect on the heart health of overweight and obese individuals. However, the researchers cautioned that their findings did not mean people could now enjoy all of the almonds and dark chocolate that they want. To see the benefits, individuals must consume these foods in moderation. The study saw that eating nearly one-third of almonds a day-either alone or combined with almost one-quarter cup of dark chocolate and 2 1/3 tablespoons of cocoa a day- may reduce one’s levels of LDL.
So, this Valentine’s Day you can indulge a little bit and enjoy a few pieces of chocolate from your little heart-shaped box. To learn more about this study, please visit the American Heart Association’s website.
Happy Valentine’s Day from Age Well CT!