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Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center recently held a Wine and Chocolate Tasting event for the community to highlight the heart healthy benefits of wine and chocolate and educate the public about staying heart healthy.   A new study shows an additional benefit to eating chocolate, being thin.

According to a the study from the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, adults who eat chocolate on a regular basis are actually thinner than those who do not.  Chocolate, especially dark chocolate has long been associated with protecting the cardiovascular system and good for your overall heart health.  Researchers discovered the cocoa bean contains plant nutrients called “flavonoids”, which protect against environmental toxins and help repair damage.  In addition, research has shown flavonoids also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow, which help to prevent heart attacks and heart disease.

This new study is the first to test and find that moderate chocolate consumption can actually be “calorie-neutral”; meaning the metabolic benefits of chocolate offset the additional caloric intake.  1,000 adult men and women participated in the study, providing dietary, weight, height, and other information to researchers during the trial.  Those who ate chocolate more days a week than the less frequent chocolate eaters were had a lower body mass index.  Researchers look at total overall caloric intake and exercise and did not find any differences between the two groups, other than chocolate consumption and BMI.

Here is an interview with one of the researchers about the surprising findings of the study.

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