Sky News* has this morning reported on a study that has linked eating chocolate with lower risk of strokes and heart disease. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that adults who ate 100g of chocolate a day had a 23% lower risk of stroke, an 11% lower risk of heart disease, and a 25% risk of death associated with cardiovascular disease.
Of course that's not the whole story, but the study of 21,000 adults has concluded that there is no evidence that cutting out chocolate reduces your risk of heart disease.
Their overall message is still one of maintaining a healthy diet and weight, but that in moderation chocolate is not going to increase your risk of these diseases. The doctor in charge of the report stressed that he is not urging his patients to go out and eat more chocolate though!
These studies taken together suggest that there might be some health benefits from eating chocolate. However, it is also clear that chocolate has the potential to increase weight, which is unequivocally bad for cardiovascular health.
The message I take from this study is that if you are a healthy weight, then eating chocolate (in moderation) does not detectably increase risk of heart disease and may even have some benefit.
I would not advise my patients to increase their chocolate intake based on this research, particularly if they are overweight.
Now pass me the Dairy Milk! Just joking... everything in moderation folks.