Eating chocolate has been tied to a reduced risk of heart disease. Now scientists have uncovered one possible reason. Using data from a large Danish health study, researchers have found an association between chocolate consumption and a lowered risk for atrial fibrillation, the irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke, heart failure and other serious problems. The study is in Heart. Scientists tracked diet and health in 55,502 men and women ages 50 to 64. They used a well-validated 192-item food-frequency questionnaire to determine chocolate consumption. During an average 14 years of follow-up, there were 3,346 diagnosed cases of atrial fibrillation. After controlling for total calorie intake, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index and other factors, they found that compared with people who ate no chocolate, those who had one to three one-ounce servings a month had a 10 percent reduced relative risk for atrial fibrillation, those who ate one serving a week had a 17 percent reduced risk, and those who ate two to six a week had a 20 percent reduced risk. Dark chocolate with higher cocoa content is better, according to the lead author, Elizabeth Mostofsky, an instructor at Harvard, because it is the cocoa, not the milk and sugar, that provides the benefit. Still, she warned about overindulgence.
It’s the worst when you’re in charge of making food for a party but have no idea what to cook. And it makes it even harder when you remember a guest is gluten-free, so you need to be that good friend and make food they can eat too. If you’re like us in this situation, and spend hours looking through Pinterest for easy, gluten-free recipes to please a crowd, your scrolling stops now. This week’s featured foodie, Shannon Emery of Pass Me Some Tasty, is the queen of delicious gluten-free meals, so we’ve got plenty of gluten-free apps, dinner, and dessert ideas right here.
We know what you’re thinking… can’t I just buy store-bought hummus? Sure, but we swear it won’t taste as good as this freshly made version. Using the classics, such as chickpeas and tahini, plus a touch of sour cream (you can use Greek yogurt too), it’s ridiculously easy to make. Be warned: Double dippers will keep coming back for more.
The best kind of app is one that’s simple to prepare but looks super fancy. Layering prosciutto, soft cheese (think Brie or goat), a sweet fig spread, arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze over a gluten-free crostini means you’ll be serving restaurant-quality taste that’s a little bit sweet, salty, and savory.
Bacon-wrapped dates might sound like old news, but just a few tweaks to the standard recipe kick these up a notch. Sweet Medjool dates are stuffed with nutty Manchego cheese, then wrapped in bacon that’s been rubbed with chili powder. Need we say more?
Man, there’s nothing better…