Tuesday, 30 August 2011

In praise of chocolate...

The silly season for health news continues with several reports of studies regarding the benefits of chocolate. To be fair, maybe this research doesn’t really fit into my ‘duh’ category for pointless research as it would appear that chocolate really can be good for you (and not just from the pleasure perspective)

I believed from an early age that women who like chocolate are sexy, but extensive research (i.e. I googled it) doesn’t throw up any proof for this fact so I wonder if maybe my mother made it up….

According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, chocolate may ‘protect the brain and heart’. Data from over 110,000 patients suggests that eating ‘high levels’ (apparently more than 2 bars per week) reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by a third. But – surprise, surprise – the researchers have warned that ‘excessive consumption can lead to other illnesses’. Does that qualify for a ‘duh’? Diabetes and obesity spring to mind.

There is a great quote by Victoria Taylor from the British Heart foundation ‘ if you want to reduce your heart disease risk, there are much better places to start than the bottom of a box of chocolates’. I’m not sure if Forrest Gump would agree with her…

Another study, this time from the US, reports that older women who eat dark chocolate once or twice a week could lower their risk of heart failure, but those eating it every day would not benefit from this protection.

It would appear that, like so much else that leads to a healthy life – the key is moderation. Shame. As the philosophical gardener Linda Solegato says:

‘A little chocolate is like a love affair – an occasional sweet release that lightens the spirit. A lot of chocolate is like marriage – it seems so good at first but before you know it you’ve got chunky hips and a waddle walk’

But I prefer this quote by the chemist Baron Justus von Liebig ‘Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power. It is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits’

Phew! Thank goodness I’m a writer…


Post a Comment