Chocolate for Afib Prevention

Man biting into chocolate bar

You may have read elsewhere on our website that coffee and caffeine may not actually cause or worsen Afib and could even be protective of the heart. This tends to go against our common sense, but study after study has proven this true. Therefore, would it stand to reason that chocolate, which also can contain caffeine, would be protective for Afib, or do we have to discuss other considerations? The short answer is that it depends. On the one hand, chocolate contains caffeine and other compounds that can benefit the body and heart. On the other hand, how we eat chocolate may make a significant difference in whether it is protective or harmful.

Let’s Jump in a Little Further

The first and most important thing to understand is the difference between chocolate types. Dark chocolate is made mainly of cocoa, is less sweet, and contains little milk. This type of chocolate offers the most benefits because you’re not consuming much sugar and saturated fat, two compounds implicated in cardiovascular disease and general poor health.

As the name suggests, milk chocolate contains milk in addition to the cocoa. This is typically sweeter and introduces fat through the milk component. Milk chocolate tends to be eaten in more significant quantities because many see it as a snack or dessert. It’s a go-to comfort food for good times and bad and can add hundreds if not thousands, of calories to a person’s diet over a week.

The last is white chocolate, which contains no cocoa – it is made with milk and cocoa butter. White chocolate is essentially a ball of sugar and fat. While it may taste great, it is the least healthy and should not be part of the diet of anybody with Afib.

The same goes for hot chocolate or chocolate milk drinks. This can be an enjoyable treat with darker chocolate powder and water or skim milk. Lay off the high-sugar, high-fat dairy, and marshmallow additions, as these can be problematic.

So, there you have it. Chocolate can undoubtedly be good for you, and we suggest eating a moderate amount if you enjoy it and want a treat. On the other hand, avoid milk chocolate, white chocolate, and any sugary chocolate syrup or powder that you may add to drinks, foods, or desserts. Like anything else, chocolate has both good and bad; that distinction falls on how you consume it.

Ultimately, we want you to enjoy your life, but we hope you do so without compromising your health or worsening Afib. You can always contact Dr. Tordini to schedule a consultation and learn more about Afib and treatment options, including medical and procedural (catheter ablation) options that can effectively treat Afib early.

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