POSTED: 10/12/11 4:45 PM

Chocolate lovers, attention. It’s okay to indulge, and it’s even good for you. That is the good news coming out of Sweden, where researchers examined the chocolate-eating habits of 33,000 Swedish blondes. They discovered that the more chocolate the women ate the lower their risk of getting a stroke became.
There is only one little lie in the first paragraph: we don’t know if the researchers tested 33,000 blondes, but they did examine 33,000 Swedish women. Susanna Larson and her colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm will publish the results of their research in the magazine of the American College of Cardiology. The research took fourteen years and started back in 1997. The participating women were between 49 and 83 years old – so some of them may actually have had gray hair. The women had to report to the researchers how much chocolate they ate every week.
Sweden recorded 1,549 strokes between 1997 and 2007. Of the women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week 2.5 per 1,000 got a stroke. Among women who ate less than 8.9 gram of chocolate the ratio was 7.8 per 1,000.
Wouldn’t a test with eating carrots not have had the same result? The researchers doubt that. Larsson points out that order valium online cheap substances known as flavonoids, especially flavanols, as responsible for the positive health effects of chocolate. The scientist says that her study shows that flavonoids are able to prevent or lower high blood pressure – one of the risk factors for getting a stroke.

Up to now, people with an increased risk of stroke took medication, followed a healthier diet and did more ecercise. Chocolate is not on the diet list, but that could change in the future when more studies prove the benefits of eating chocolate, Larsson says.

A warning is in place though for chocolate-junkies. The research results are not a license to shovel down dozens of chocolate bars per week. Chocolate does contain a lot of calories, sugars and fats. That results in the build up of more fat in the body and that in turn is bad for the heart.
The researchers recommend to eat plain chocolate. Dark chocolate contains more cacao and less sugar than milk chocolate. We knew that, but we never thougt a lot about it; now we realize why more people are addicted to milk chocolate than to the much yummier dark alternative. They must be sugar addicts. True chocolate afficionados prefer the real stuff, and that happens to be dark.

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