Melbourne: The Australian Heart Foundation has revealed that there is no cardiovascular health benefit from eating chocolate or drinking coffee or red wine, even though they contain antioxidants.
Susan Anderson, the Heart Foundation’s national director of healthy weight, said a review of more that 100 scientific papers found that even though the three were commonly referred to as part of a heart healthy diet, they were not.
“Chocolate, coffee and red wine are okay as part of a balanced diet,” the New Zealand Herald quoted Anderson as saying in a statement released May 11.
“But these findings confirm that if you’re consuming them thinking you’re reducing your risk of heart disease then think again.
“The best way to get enough antioxidants is to eat a variety of plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, wholegrain breads and cereals, nuts and seeds every day,” she stated.
She went on to say that people were best advised to eat at least two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day.
Tea on the other hand was confirmed as helping to lower heart attack risk, though where milk was added it should be reduced, low or no fat.
There was insufficient evidence to recommend eating either milk or dark chocolate, drinking coffee, red wine or other alcoholic drinks or use antioxidant supplements, such as vitamins E and C.
Anderson said there were widespread misconceptions about which foods were positive for cardiovascular health, and the results of the review would be sent to doctors and other health professionals.