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A Little Chocolate is Good for the Soul...and Heart
By Correy Robertson, September 2, 2010 08:56 AM
Believe it or not, this little guilty pleasure can actually help your heart. A new Swedish studies shows that eating a little bit of a high-quality chocolate every week can potentially have benefits on you heart's health -- but beware, too much of it will not:
The study is highly relevant as nearly 6 million Americans have heart failure and one in four women will die from heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The nine-year study of women ages 48 to 83 found that those who ate a small amount of Swedish chocolate once or twice a week had a one-third lower risk of developing heart failure. Those who ate it daily received no protective benefit. Women who ate chocolate a couple of times a month also showed some benefit, but not as much as the weekly group.
Keep in mind that the kind of chocolate that was the most beneficial in particular were those with the most cocoa solids -- Swedish chocolate contains 30-35% cocoa solids, while U.S. chocolate is only required to have 15%. So if you have a sweet tooth, choose your chocolate wisely, folks!