A recent study1 published in Nutrition Research provides good news for chocolate and candy lovers and confirms what we chocoholics always knew – we can eat chocolate, as well as candy, without any adverse health effects. The study found candy and chocolate consumers tend to weigh less, have lower body mass indices (BMI), and lower waist circumferences, and have decreased levels of risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndrome.
In fact, the study even validates that chocolate is good for you. Here are other findings:
- Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Candy consumers were found to have a 14 percent decreased risk of elevated diastolic blood pressure and lower C‐reactive protein (CRP) levels than non‐candy consumers did. For high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL‐C), chocolate candy consumers had better values of this “good” cholesterol, specifically a 19 percent decreased risk of a lower HDL‐C.
- Metabolic Syndrome. Chocolate candy consumption was associated with a 15 percent reduced risk of metabolic syndrome – a group of risk factors linked to overweight and obesity that can lead to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
- Diet Quality. Measured by the Healthy Eating Index 2005 (HEI‐2005), the study found that diet quality was not affected by total candy or chocolate candy consumption when consumed within energy limits. While sugar candy consumers did have a lower HEI than non‐consumers, the difference between the two was quite small.
“[Chocolate] candy is a unique treat that can provide moments of joy and happiness. Consumers should feel confident that [chocolate and] candy, consumed in moderation within a diet balanced with regular physical activity, can be part of a healthy, happy lifestyle,” said Alison Bodor, senior vice president of public policy and advocacy, National Confectioners Association.
Okay, we have gotten approval from the USDA and NCA. Now, we can enjoy Annabelle Candy Company’s offerings: Rocky Road®, Big Hunk®, Abba Zaba® , LOOK!® and UNO® chocolate candy bars even more because they are good for us…in moderation, of course.
1FUNDING DISCLOSURE: The study is a publication of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA/ARS) Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the USDA, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement from the U.S. government.
This research project was supported by the National Confectioners Association, and USDA – Agricultural Research Service through specific cooperative agreement 58‐6250‐6‐003. Partial support was received from the USDA Hatch Project LAB 93951.