Once again, evidence for the health benefits of DARK chocolate!

Dark chocolate helps to reduce blood pressure in patients with prehypertension/stage 1 hypertension and established cardiovascular end-organ damage or diabetes mellitus.

When I eat chocolate, I try to eat at least 80% dark.  It may taste bitter, but you’ll get used to it.  The lower the % chocolate, the more sugar.  Milk chocolate and white “chocolate” (not chocolate at all!) should be avoided.

Lately, I’ve taken to adding 1-2 teaspoons of pure cocoa powder to my morning oatmeal.  It’s too bitter to eat alone, but adds a nice taste!

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.


  1. When I don’t make steel cut oatmeal, I use the old fashioned oatmeal. I’ll cook it with a banana, some cinnamon, a little vanilla extract, a dash of maple syrup, and maybe some walnuts.

    It tastes like banana bread, but is much healthier.

  2. 1 tablespoon maple syrup = 52 calories
    1 oz walnuts = 186 calories
    I urge measuring, otherwise you can easily overdo it!

  3. Moderate Chocolate Consumption Linked to Lower Risk for Heart Failure in Women

    Moderate chocolate consumption might lower a woman’s risk for heart failure (HF), according to a study in Circulation: Heart Failure.

    More than 30,000 middle-aged and older Swedish women without histories of diabetes, HF, or myocardial infarction completed food-frequency questionnaires and then were followed for roughly 9 years. During that time, 1.3% were hospitalized for, or died from, HF.

    Compared with women who didn’t eat chocolate, those who consumed one to three servings a month had about a 25% reduction in HF risk, while those who consumed one to two servings a week had a 30% risk reduction. Higher intake did not appear to have a protective effect.

    The authors point out that chocolate is a good source of flavonoids, which might improve cardiovascular risk factors. They note, however, that chocolate consumed in the U.S. likely contains less cocoa (known to be cardioprotective) than that consumed by women in this study.

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