Expert recommends eating a certain amount of dark chocolate every day to lower “bad” cholesterol levels

Cholesterol is a naturally occurring fat in the blood that is produced in the liver. Too much of it can be dangerous as it clogs the blood vessels. If left untreated, it can lead to problems such as heart disease and strokes.

It is widely known that diet plays an important role in cholesterol levels.

In particular, eating too much fatty foods is one of the causes of high cholesterol levels.

Just as certain foods can raise cholesterol levels, others can lower them.

One expert spoke to about one delicious meal that could do just that.

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Dr. Deborah Lee of Dr Fox online pharmacy recommends eating dark chocolate to lower your cholesterol levels.

She explained, “Dark chocolate contains a high concentration of cocoa solids, which have powerful antioxidant properties.

“Cocoa is high in flavonoids, plant compounds that are beneficial to human health.

“Flavonoids have been shown to suppress cholesterol secretion in animals and humans.”

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What does the study say?

Her claim was backed up by an article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“In a 2011 meta-analysis that included 10 clinical studies, those who regularly ate dark chocolate experienced significant reductions in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol), but found no effect on high cholesterol levels. “density lipoproteins are the “good” cholesterol,” said Dr. Lee.

High-density lipoproteins (“good” cholesterol) lower cholesterol levels by absorbing it and returning it back to the liver.

The liver then removes it from the body.

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In contrast, low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol) is what can build up on the walls of your blood vessels, and over time, this leads to narrowing of the inside of the vessels.

Dr. Li added: “Dark chocolate also has beneficial effects on blood pressure and endothelial (cell wall) function and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Cardiologists believe that regular, moderate chocolate consumption can be good for the heart, but as always, if you overdo it and eat too much chocolate, these benefits are likely to be lost.

“Generally, dark chocolate is recommended as it has a higher flavonoid content, but more research is needed to see what type and how much produces the best results.”

Eat in moderation

However, she cautioned: “Please note that dark chocolate contains 50 to 90 percent cocoa solids.

“However, it is high in sugar and calories, which contributes to obesity.

“The optimal amount for health benefits is one to two ounces per day, which is unfortunately only one to two squares.”

To lower your cholesterol, the NHS also recommends eating:

  • Fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon
  • Brown rice, whole grain bread and whole wheat pasta
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables.

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