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Study: Dark Chocolate Better For Your Heart Than Fruit Juice

By Pam Cunningham
Published On: Aug 17 2011 01:04:35 PM CDT
Updated On: Feb 14 2011 10:10:40 AM CST

On Valentine's Day, "I heart chocolate" is what chocolate lovers were saying. But new research is showing you don't have to make dark chocolate a one day event.

For breakfast you might have a glass of blueberry, cranberry or pomegranate juice for a boost of anti-oxidants. But a new study shows dark chocolate may be just as good or better for your heart.

Wine and chocolate, how romantic. And for these couples at Stokesay Castle love is in the air -heart health wasn't the main reason to indulge. "I'm looking forward to tasting the wine with chocolate because I know that the chocolate sometimes changes the flavor of the wine," said Cynthia Adam of Exeter Township.

"What's there not to like? The taste, it makes you feel good, all that good stuff," said her husband, Kevin Adam.

And there are health benefits to the combination of dark chocolate and red wine. "One drink a day for men apparently reduces heart disease," said Chris Wise, who was enjoying the wine and chocolate tasting.

"It's already been known a small serving of dark chocolate on a regular basis does have healthful benefits," said Frank Politzer, a cardiologist at St. Joseph Medical Center. A new study in the Chemistry Central Journal paid for by Hershey Company compared fruit juice powders to cocoa powder for anti-oxidants.

Cocoa came out ahead of blueberry and cranberry in the anti-oxidant scale, and about the same with pomegranate.

"Maybe we should have another order, another round," said Wise.

Cardiologists say the latest findings are powerful, but don't go too far sharing sweets with your sweet. "One serving it's hard to say how many ounces that is probably not more than 1 or 2 ounces a day would be considered beneficial more than that you probably tip the balance to raising your cholesterol," said Politzer.

You want a healthy heart to love longer. And these couples are ready to experiment.

"I will do as much chocolate research as anyone needs," said Jodi Wise. On the plates at Stokesay, they had a range of a chocolates from white to dark. Cardiologists say the anti-oxidant and heart disease prevention benefits are only seen with dark chocolate.