Wednesday, April 07, 2010
German researchers followed nearly 20,000 people over eight years, sending them several questionnaires about their diet and exercise habits.
They found people who had an average of six grams of chocolate per day â€” or about one square of a chocolate bar â€” had a 39 percent lower risk of either a heart attack or stroke.
Previous studies have suggested dark chocolate in small amounts could be good for you, but this is the first study to track its effects over such a long period of time.
"It's a bit too early to come up with recommendations that people should eat more chocolate, but if people replace sugar or high-fat snacks with a little piece of dark chocolate, that might help," said Brian Buijsse, a nutritional epidemiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal, Germany, the study's lead author.