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Researchers claim cocoa could be good for the heart

BY Jenna Duncan

AACHEN, Germany New research indicates that an ingredient found in cocoa could help diabetics stay free of heart disease.

According to scientists at the University Hospital Aachen in Germany, the flavanols in cocoa, a chemical also found in tea and red wine, can raise the body’s production of nitric oxide, a naturally produced chemical in the body that tells arteries to relax. This could result in a beneficial effect on heart functions, they said.

The researchers conducted a study on patients with type 2 diabetes to measure the effects of using an enriched form of cocoa containing higher levels of flavanols. The study found that those who drank cocoa had improved arterial functions. Over the course of one month, blood flow in the patient’s formerly restricted vessels improved by 30 percent.

“These are interesting findings,” one spokesperson from Diabetes U.K. said. “But we don’t advise people to start drinking lots of hot chocolate, as it can be high in sugar and fat.”

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Kraft intorudces Mac & Cheese crackers

BY Alaric DeArment

NORTHFIELD, Ill. Kraft announced Thursday a new snack based on its popular Kraft Macaroni & Cheese product.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Crackers, sold in the familiar elbow-macaroni shape, will be made with real chedder cheese and available in cheddar, white cheddar and mild cheddar flavors. The crackers will become available nationwide this month.

Kraft was founded 100 years ago and operates in more than 150 countries. Its brands include Oscar Mayer meats, Philadelphia cream cheese, Maxwell House coffee and Nabisco cookies.

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Just Born to debut brand new Peeps

BY Alaric DeArment

BETHLEHEM, Pa. Candy maker Just Born has some new products that it will showcase at the All Candy Expo at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center.

New products include sugar-free Peeps Pumpkins and Peeps Marshmallow JOY Letters, as well as new flavors for Mike and Ike Lemonade Blends.

Other new products for the Peeps like will include Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Bunnies, Chocolate Mousse Flavored Marshmallow Bears, Orange Chicks and Green Bunnies.

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