Eating up to 100 g. – a whole large Lindt bar! – of chocolate, every day is linked to lowered heart disease and stroke risk, according to a recent observational study reported in the journal Heart.
"Higher levels of consumption were associated with lower weight (BMI), systolic blood pressure, inflammatory proteins, diabetes and more physical activity – all of which add up to a favourable cardiovascular risk profile."
Compared with those who ate no chocolate, eating lots of chocolate was linked to:
· An 11 % lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 25% lower risk of associated death
· A 9 % lower risk of hospital admission or death as a result of coronary heart disease
· A 23% lower risk of stroke, even after taking account of other potential risk factors
And milk chocolate, usually thought to be less healthy than dark chocolate, might also be beneficial: "Not only flavonoids but also other compounds, possibly related to milk constituents, such as calcium and fatty acids, may provide an explanation."