The FDA’s Answer to the Age-Old Question: Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart?

The FDA’s Answer to the Age-Old Question: Is Chocolate Good for Your Heart?

Chocolate has long been a favorite treat, and some have alluded to its possible positive effects on heart health. But the question remains: is chocolate actually good for your heart?

What the Experts Say

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has weighed in on the question of whether chocolate is good for your heart. Studies suggest that cocoa—the main ingredient in chocolate—may help improve heart health. Specifically, cocoa contains compounds known as flavanols which are believed to have protective properties.

The FDA notes that the best way to take advantage of the potential benefits of cocoa is to eat a cocoa-rich food or beverage. The FDA recommends consuming cocoa in its unprocessed form, such as cocoa powder, rather than consuming chocolate bars or other processed forms of cocoa.

How Chocolate Is Processed

When chocolate is processed, many of the beneficial flavanols are destroyed or removed from the product. Additionally, most chocolate bars contain added sugars and other ingredients that can be detrimental to health. Therefore, the FDA recommends limiting your intake of processed forms of chocolate, such as chocolate bars and chocolate-flavored snacks.

Cocoa and Heart Health

The FDA advises that consuming cocoa, especially in its unprocessed form, may help promote heart health. Studies suggest that flavanols, which are abundant in cocoa, may help reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke. Additionally, flavanols may help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart.

Other Health Benefits

In addition to the potential heart health benefits of cocoa, studies suggest that cocoa may also have other health benefits. For example, cocoa may help reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and even boost mood.


In conclusion, while the FDA recommends limiting your intake of processed forms of chocolate, research suggests that cocoa may be beneficial for heart health. Therefore, if you’re looking for a way to improve your heart health, consider adding cocoa in its unprocessed form to your diet.

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In addition, cocoa may offer other potential benefits, such as improved cognitive function and mood. Ultimately, you should balance your intake of processed and unprocessed forms of chocolate and make sure to talk to your doctor about any dietary changes you make. Eating a diet full of whole foods is generally the best way to promote heart health.