Chocolate Linked to Lower Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

Small amount of dark chocolate daily lowers heart attack, stroke risk
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2010 1:41 PM CDT
Mark Sciscenti, owner of Kakawa Chocolate House, and a plate of dark chocolate in his store's kitchen in Santa Fe, June 30, 2008. Dark chocolate in small amounts is good for your heart.   (AP Photo/Jeff Geissler)
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(Newser) – Eating small amounts of chocolate may lower your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke, according to new research out today. In a study of 19,000 middle-aged subjects, German scientists noted lower blood pressure in those who ate the most chocolate, accompanied by a 39% lower risk of heart attack and stroke compared to those who ate the least.

That's not an excuse to go to town on a life-size chocolate bunny, notes the lead researcher. The actual difference between the average amounts consumed is tiny—the equivalent of one square of a 3½-ounce bar, notes WebMD. "Small amounts of chocolate may help to prevent heart disease, but only if it replaces other energy-dense food, such as snacks, in order to keep body weight stable," he says.

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