Is Dark Chocolate Good for High Cholesterol? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Dark chocolate is good for high cholesterol. Because it has flavanols and polyphenols that can lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. However, it should be consumed in moderation and with caution.

High cholesterol is a condition that affects your blood vessels and heart.

In high cholesterol, your body has too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood.

This can lead to various health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, and angina.

One of the key factors in managing high cholesterol is diet.

What you consume can affect your blood cholesterol levels, which can impact your high cholesterol symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage high cholesterol, you should consume fiber-rich foods like oats, beans, and fruits and avoid saturated fat-rich foods like butter, cheese, and fatty meats.

Now, dark chocolate is a type of chocolate that contains a high percentage of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar.

People usually eat dark chocolate as a snack or dessert.

Dark chocolate is good for high cholesterol because it contains flavanols and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

However, this effect may depend on the type and amount of dark chocolate consumed, as well as other factors such as genetics and lifestyle.

A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa solids can give you 11 grams of fiber (44% of your daily needs), 66% of the DV for iron, 57% of the DV for magnesium, and 85% of the DV for manganese.

However, it also contains 600 calories and 24 grams of sugar, which can be harmful for your health if consumed in excess.

Flavanols can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, which can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Polyphenols can prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which can cause plaque formation in the arteries.

However, these antioxidants may be reduced by processing and heating of cocoa, so darker and less processed chocolate may have more benefits than lighter and more processed chocolate.

Furthermore, dark chocolate is a plant-based food and plant-based foods are good for high cholesterol.

Because, they contain phytochemicals that can modulate cholesterol metabolism and inflammation.

You can eat a small amount of dark chocolate per day safely.

More than that can cause weight gain, diabetes, and tooth decay.

Also, you shouldn’t eat dark chocolate if you have an allergy to cocoa or any of its ingredients to prevent anaphylaxis.

Because, this is a life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause breathing difficulties, swelling, and shock.

You can buy fresh dark chocolate in your local market or can order it online. Always choose dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (at least 70%) and a low sugar content (less than 10 grams per serving).

Because, this will ensure that you get the most antioxidants and the least calories from your chocolate.

You can store dark chocolate in a cool and dry place for up to a year.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing high cholesterol effectively.

I always recommend my high cholesterol patients to follow a high cholesterol-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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