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Reebok inTouch Heart Rate Monitor Watch - White

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Description
  • Touch to view Heart Rate
  • Fit Zone indicator (over 60% of Max HR)
  • Tone Track (track time in motion)
  • Segment/DM displayScrolling message board
  • Digital 3D Sensor
  • Speed monitor
  • Step Counter
  • Calorie monitor
  • Distance tracker
  • 3 colorways
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Health Notes

Chocolate and Heart Health: Is There a Connection?

Chocolate and Heart Health: Is There a Connection?
Chocolate and Heart Health: Is There a Connection?: Main Image
Blood vessel function improved significantly, regardless of the amount of chocolate consumed
Dozens of headlines have proclaimed the health benefits of chocolate. But does it really measure up? A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition pooled studies to get the "low down" on chocolate's effects on cardiovascular health and found that chocolate does indeed have many heart health benefits, including a few unexpected ones.

Digging deep

Researchers from the UK, Australia, and the US reviewed hundreds of studies on chocolate and cardiovascular health. They narrowed their analysis to 42 higher quality studies that included a total of 1,297 people. The goal was to highlight any reductions in heart disease risk from chocolate, cocoa, or a type of bioflavonoid found in chocolate (flavan-3-ols).

After selecting the studies, the team looked at the effects of chocolate on these measures of heart-disease risk:

  • triglycerides
  • cholesterol levels
  • blood pressure
  • insulin levels
  • insulin resistance
  • a measure of blood vessel function (flow-mediated dilation)

Chocolate cure

All of the studies included in the analysis may have been biased, some because they were funded by the chocolate industry, and others because of less-than-perfect research methods. However, a few common threads were seen throughout.

  • Insulin levels dropped significantly and insulin sensitivity improved in response to chocolate, a previously unreported connection. Insulin sensitivity refers to the ability of the body's cells to respond appropriately to the insulin that's in the blood stream. When people have poor insulin sensitivity (known as insulin resistance), blood sugar may stay at above-normal levels.
  • Blood vessel function improved significantly, regardless of the amount of chocolate consumed. The authors attributed the increase to the flavan-3-ols found in chocolate. Studies have shown that for each 1% increase in flow-mediated dilation, the risk of cardiovascular events (like heart attack and stroke) dropped by 13%. "The 1.3% increase associated with chronic chocolate intake in this review would have important consequences for cardiovascular risk, and in combination with improved insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular effects may be substantial," commented the authors.
  • Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number on a blood pressure reading) dropped by an average of 1.6 mm Hg after chocolate consumption.
  • LDL ("bad") cholesterol and triglyceride levels improved marginally, as did HDL ("good") cholesterol.

Think before you snack

The review confirmed much of what was thought to be true about chocolate's effects on heart health. It lowers blood pressure, improves insulin sensitivity, and improves flow-mediated dilation. But there are other ways to get these same great benefits, without the fat and sugar that often go with chocolate and which present other risks, such as weight gain. Here a just a few.

  • Go for a walk. Or a run. Or a swim. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and increase your HDL cholesterol.
  • Get green. Eating an abundance of green leafy vegetables like kale, collard greens, spinach, and chard can help you maintain an ideal weight, lower your blood pressure, and decrease your diabetes and heart disease risk.
  • Go fish. Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish like salmon can help improve flow-mediated dilation and lower your risk of heart disease.

(Am J Clin Nutr 2012;doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.023457)

Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation's premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counseling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.
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EB GIFTSReebok inTouch Heart Rate Monitor Watch - White
 
4.0

(based on 1 review)

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Somehow does what it says it will

By breeze4real

from Washington, DC

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Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Effective
  • Good Value
  • Lightweight
  • Smells Great

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Daily Use
    • On-the-go
    • Women

    Comments about EB GIFTS Reebok inTouch Heart Rate Monitor Watch - White:

    I used this for a hike and at times I had my hands on my hips so they weren't moving while I walked. At the end of it the watch said I had walked 7.4 miles - which was how long the trail was. I'm not really sure how it is tracking my steps. It reset my steps because I had gone over the amount it could hold, but it was able to tell me the distance so that made up for it. I've found it easier to test my heart rate when I am not trying to. I need to remember to lock it because otherwise it'll beep it it's touching skin - ie if it's tucked under my other arm. Sometimes when I try to use my finger (like it says to) it can't read it. Overall, I have enjoyed it and would recommend it to others.

    • My Beauty Routine Takes:
    • 30 Minutes

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