If you find yourself craving for chocolate, make it dark. According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, eating dark chocolate every day for 10 years may help prevent heart disease in people who are especially vulnerable to it.

Researchers used a mathematical model to predict how people with metabolic syndrome--who are at high risk for heart problems--could benefit from a daily serving of dark chocolate. Results revealed that if no serving was missed in 10 years, eating dark chocolate could potentially stop 70 non-fatal and 15 fatal heart attacks or strokes per 10,000 people. Researchers suspect that the flavanoids in dark chocolate are responsible for the heart health benefit. They also point out that the chocolate must contain at least 60 to 70 percent cocoa for the experiment to work.

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While these results are amazing, they are not yet supported by concrete evidence. For the study to have a strong impact, it has to have live results. Not everyone is on board with the chocolate treatment, either. Kenneth Ong, an expert from the Brooklyn Hospital Center, believes that eating chocolate--whether dark or not--might cause damage to other aspects of a person’s health. "The additional sugar and caloric intake may negatively impact patients in this study who are overweight and glucose intolerant to begin with."

(Photo by WoofBC via Flickr Creative Commons)

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