Health & Fitness | November 20, 2021 6:30 am

Cardiologist Has Good News for Fans of Coffee and Dark Chocolate

Wine drinkers, not so much

Drinking coffee
News worth drinking (coffee) to.
Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash

Is drinking coffee good for your heart? In a world where nearly any kind of food and drink that feels indulgent seems to offer some kind of health hazard, coffee presents a conundrum to some enthusiasts. Depending on what you’re reading, coffee can come off like a danger to your heart — or a beneficial tonic for a host of ailments. Sometimes that can seem contradictory; at others, it just comes down to a matter of degree. Alternately, drinking a handful of cups of coffee per day is probably safer that drinking dozens.

In a new article at The Guardian, cardiologist Thomas Lüscher — who spent many years as editor of European Heart Journal — offered good news for the caffeinated. Lüscher stated that coffee “wakes us up, less so if you drink it regularly, and at that dose of up to four cups a day, might even be protective.” But that wasn’t the only analysis he offered on food and drink linked to a healthy heart. Some other advice he offered:

Eating chocolate can be helpful — but not every variety. Lüscher singled out white chocolate in particular as “not healthy at all.” And he pointed to chocolate that’s high in flavanols and low in both fat and sugar as the most beneficial for your heart.

Wine might not be as useful as some believe. The doctor himself enjoys a good glass of wine, but generally confines it to a few glasses on weekends. The Guardian also spoke with Tim Chico of the University of Sheffield, who said, “the evidence suggests coffee and chocolate are associated with a slightly lower risk of heart diseases, while alcohol is not.”

The advice Lüscher and the other experts interviewed provide is relatively practical — don’t overindulge, be mindful of ingredients and keep things in balance. All are wise things to consider when it comes to health in general.