Medical News Today

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! New evidence is claiming that this decadent treat may actually attribute to heath more than you think.

In fact, eating three chocolate bars per month may actually be healthy for one of your body’s most important organs– the heart. Here’s the research behind the claim.

A Heart-Healthy Treat

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York analyzed five different studies, which combined had a total of 575,000 participants. Amazingly, they found that eating three chocolate bars each month can reduce one’s risk of heart failure by 13% compared to those who never eat chocolate.

This is because chocolate helps improve blood vessel health and reduce inflammation, which are major components of heart health.

“I believe that chocolate is an important dietary source of flavonoids which are associated with reducing inflammation and increasing good cholesterol,” Dr. Chayakrit Krittanawong, the lead author of the study, said. “However, chocolate may have high levels of saturated fats. I would say moderate dark chocolate consumption is good for health.”

Don’t Overdo It

While this is amazing news for chocolate lovers worldwide, there’s also evidence that chocolate treats are only good in moderation.

The scientists also found that participants who ate a chocolate bar every day for one month were at higher chances of heart failure. In fact, they were at 17% higher risk due to chocolate’s high fat and sugar content. So, how much chocolate should you consume?

Find A Happy Medium

Other research may point to the beneficial amount of chocolate we should all be eating.

A 2017 study conducted by scientists from Harvard discovered that eating two to six 30-gram portions of chocolate each week can reduce atrial fibrillation, one of the major causes of strokes, by 23%.

Considering an average Hershey bar is about 43 grams, sticking to no more than two per week should do the trick. However, you should also consider opting for dark instead of milk chocolate to reduce how much fat you’re consuming with your heart-healthy treat.

“This large-scale analysis suggests that enjoying a moderate amount of chocolate might protect you against heart failure, but too much can be detrimental,” Victoria Taylor, a senior dietitian with The British Heart Foundation explained “If you have a sweet tooth, make it an occasional small treat and go for dark chocolate with the highest cocoa content.”

Dark chocolate, don’t mind if I do.