Monday, August 29, 2011

More wishful thinking about chocolate

The sentence highlighted in red below makes the whole thing a bit of a laugh

It's the news that chocoholics have been waiting for - a bar of the dark stuff is officially good for your health. It has long been believed that a small amount of cocoa-rich dark chocolate can be beneficial because of its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

But a major study has now suggested that eating large amounts of chocolate could also be associated with a one-third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. It backs up the results of earlier studies that generally agree on a potential positive link between eating chocolate and heart health.

Dr Oscar Franco, from the University of Cambridge, carried out a large scale review of the existing evidence to see the effects of eating chocolate on heart attacks and strokes. He analysed the results of seven studies, which had involved more than 100,000 people with and without existing heart disease.

For each study, he compared the group with the highest chocolate consumption against the group with the lowest. Differences in study design and quality were also taken into account to minimise bias.

Five studies reported a beneficial link between higher levels of chocolate consumption and the risk of cardiovascular events. They found that the 'highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37 per cent reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29 per cent reduction in stroke compared with lowest levels'.

No significant reduction was found in relation to heart failure.

The studies did not differentiate between dark or milk chocolate and included consumption of chocolate bars, drinks, biscuits and desserts. But despite the findings, he said they should be taken 'with caution', and will now look at whether other factors could explain the positive effects.

He also advised people to be careful which chocolate they chose to eat. This was because, in particular, commercially available chocolate is high in calories - around 500 calories for every 100 grams - and eating too much of it could lead to weight gain and put eaters at risk of diabetes and heart disease.

The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, are due to be presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris today.

The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030, nearly 23.6 million people will die from heart disease.


Food hysteria

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has turned his famously sharp tongue against his fellow celebrity chefs. In an interview in this week’s TV Guide, Bourdain calls Paula Deen “the worst, most dangerous person to America” for her artery-clogging style of cooking.

“She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations, and she’s proud of the fact that her food is f--king bad for you,” Bourdain said of the Food Network star, who is famous for her butter-heavy recipes.

“I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it is OK to eat food that is killing us,” Bourdain said of Deen and her kitchen creations.

Moving on, Bourdain levels some scathing criticism on Food Network chef-turned-Oprah-wannabe Rachael Ray. “Does she even cook anymore?” Bourdain asked rhetorically. “I don’t know why she bothers,” Bourdain said. “To her credit, she never said she was good at it. I feel bad that she still feels compelled to cook.”

Bourdain says the downside of traveling around the world eating amazing food for his show “No Reservations” is that he doesn’t get to see his wife and kid.


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