M&M Mars has a division of Health and Well-Being. Does that surprise you? It did me! But we can stop viewing chocolate as a guilty treat. Today, chocolate has become the new wonder food! Heart healthy! Filled with tasty flavanols that reduce LDL cholesterol oxidation. Current research has suggested that cocoa can promote healthy blood flow and prevent clotting in arteries. So it’s no wonder that the candy companies are jumping on the bandwagon.

The amazing Mars company is launching into our stores CocoaVia™ a granola-based snack bars with a chocolatey goodness. They quietly began Internet based sales nearly two years ago. But beginning in October, a full line of CocoaVia™ became available at retail stores near you. I found my local pharmacy carried the original bars. Not cheap at 4.99 for a box of six, but they are good for me, right?

Mars claims that CocoaVia™ contains a patented blend of heart-healthy cocoa flavanols and cholesterol-lowering plant sterols from soy. The new line of snacks also is fortified with calcium and a mix of heart-healthy nutrients including folic acid, vitamins B-6, B-12, C and E. So far so good my heart was already feeling better and my taste buds were signing. But the best news was the research.

The University of California-Davis reported at the American Heart Association meeting last November their research finding. They found that two servings of CocoaVia™ snack bars significantly lowered total and LDL cholesterol levels, without impacting HDL or “good” cholesterol. Each snack bar contains 1.5 grams of natural plant sterols from soy.

“Natural plant sterols are a clinically proven ingredient that can lower blood cholesterol,” said Schmitz, who directs a multi-million-dollar research budget at Mars. “Many cardiologists and family physicians have been recommending sterol-fortified products like margarine to their at-risk patients as a way to help lower elevated cholesterol levels. Now, there’s a great-tasting option that naturally combines these cholesterol-lowering benefits with the exciting potential cardiovascular health benefits of cocoa flavanols.”

Well as the President and founder of the International association of weight Loss coaches I felt it was my duty to taste at least one bar. And luckily I found two varieties the original chocolate bar and snack bar which had nuts and crispy rice. I was not excited about the snack bar. Too chewy . But the actual original chocolate bar was what I would expect from a good piece of dark chocolate. Very satisfying, melt in my mouth chocolate. Wow, way to go Mars Company making chocolate even better for us!


Author's Bio: 

Keri K. Silk is the President and Founder of the International Association of Weight Loss Coaches. She has lost 80 pounds and is still loosing weight. Keri created SLIMTASTIC to help individuals find support and resources so that they can find success in loosing weight. Keri is an author, workshop facilitator and life coach.