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It's Official - Chocolate And Coke Are Good For You

Jun 8, 2008
Medical insurance is one of those things that we can control the cost of by living a healthy lifestyle and thus being less risk of the insurance company having to pay out. When applying for medical insurance you will probably be asked about your diet as this aspect of your life has a huge impact on your general well being and health. Many illnesses and diseases are affected by the way we control our diets. Diabetes is one of these.

Diabetics are at serious risk of heart disease. I know this because my own cousin is an insulin-dependent diabetic and survived two major heart attacks by the age of 33. She was warned that this is one of those things that can happen due to the strain on the body of coping with the diabetes. But there is hope for alleviating the threat. Eat chocolate. No, I'm not joking.

Studies have found that an enriched form of cocoa that contains higher than usual levels of natural antioxidants called flavanols had a positive effect on patients with stage 2 diabetes. Scientists in Germany have found that drinking cocoa improved the condition of patients arteries, lessening the threat of heart disease. Ok, that's drinking cocoa, not necessarily eating chocolate, but any excuse for eating that slab has to be worth a go.

The results of the tests showed that blood flow through the restricted vessels improved by thirty per cent over the space of one month. These flavanols are also found in tea and red wine, raising the body's production of nitric oxide which sends signals to the arteries to relax. The only drawback is all the extra calories in the form of fat and sugar that will be consumed but I can ignore these if you can!

Junk food and drinks are frowned upon by medical insurance companies as they lead to an unhealthy person and will thus push up your risk factor and consequently your medical insurance premiums. Coca cola has had a reputation for the additives it contains and the fact that many claim this has led to DNA damage and hyperactivity.

The rogue additive, E211 is used to prevent mould developing in fizzy drinks but Coca Cola say they are began withdrawing it from Diet Coke in January this year and by the end of the year, no Coca cola will contain E211.

Soft drinks with a higher juice content will still contain the additive as no suitable alternative has been found but the company promise they are working on this. The problem with this additive, according to a professor at Sheffield University, is that it switches off parts of DNA that could be linked to Parkinson's Disease and liver cirrhosis.

Government backed committees are not so sure that this is necessary. They say that sodium benzoate has shown to be harmful to yeast cells, human cells are stronger and able to cope with it better. Is it worth the risk, I ask, if alternatives can be found? Sodium benzoate is the one additive that can lead to hyperactivity in children along with six food colourings.

For the government's part, they have called for the removal of the food colourings but not the sodium benzoate, which seems a little pointless!

Anyway, good news for the likes of me! I can drink coke, tea, cocoa and red wine and eat chocolate and feel like I'm actually doing myself some good!
About the Author
Health expert Catherine Harvey looks at the changes in diet that can affect medical insurance and the discoveries that can change previous thoughts.
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