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Life Is Not a Box of Chocolates, as It Turns Out

Uh-oh. Your sweet tooth could be worse for you than just a mouth full of cavities. A new study says that eating sweet treats — like donuts, chocolate and even sugary drinks — increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, and can increase your risk of death during middle age.

Oxford University researchers found that two diets are associated with the  increased risk. The first consisted of a high intake of chocolate, confectionary, butter and white bread, with low intake of fresh fruit and vegetables.

The second was centered around sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juice, chocolate, confectionary, table sugar and preserves, and was low in butter and higher-fat cheese.

The scientists say their findings are “consistent with previous research which has suggested that eating foods that contain less sugar and fewer calories may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease” and death before retirement age.

This is nuts

How about some good news? Another study has found that when it comes to eating almonds, chances are you can eat them without worrying about calories.

University of Toronto researchers say that when it comes to almonds, the calories listed don’t equal the amount that we absorb when we eat them.

Principal study investigator John Sievenpiper, points out that although nuts have been thought of as healthy, they often come with the disclaimer that they are high in fat and calories. But his study found that the body does not absorb roughly 20% of the calories coming from almond fat after digestion.

An ounce of almonds contains about 14 grams of fat. Almonds also offer lots of beneficial protein, vitamins, and minerals. Previous studies find almonds, and other nuts, also can contribute to good cardiovascular health. The hope is that this study will help eliminate the “nuts lead to weight gain” stigma.