This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet
Supplements are a better way for consumers to get plant sterols than Mars' CocoaVia brand of fortified chocolate, according to the February Harvard Heart Letter. "Capsules don't deliver extra calories or saturated fat," the consumer newsletter points out. The Letter also recommends consumers choose either supplements or healthier foods like tea, apples, raspberries and red wine as their source for flavanols. According to the Letter, unless an individual cuts calories "somewhere else" or walks an extra 45 minutes a day, the added calories from the twice-daily recommended intake of CocoaVia would lead to a 20 lb. weight gain in one year. The product also contains 36% of an individual's daily recommended limit for saturated fat. "That's more than enough to counteract any benefits from sterols and flavanols," the publication concludes. Mars recommends eating CocoaVia as a "substitute for other foods without heart health benefits" and notes that the product, "like any food, should be consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy diet"...
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