A small study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that daily consumption of cocoa flavanol-containing dark chocolate lowered cholesterol and improved blood pressure.
While the study was funded by chocolate manufacturer Mars, Inc., the study was double-blinded and peer reviewed.
Another study in the Journal of the American Medical Association also concluded that consuming 6.3 grams (30 kcal) of polyphenol-rich dark chocolate per day reduced blood pressure.
Note that it’s dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, which confers benefits. And, as registered dietitian Heidi Bates notes in a Healthy Alberta article, “Is chocolate good for us?”, you can get too much of a good thing. “Chocolate is quite high in fat, sugar and the resulting calories,” says Bates. “If you eat too much chocolate, you could undo any health value that you have gained.” Flavonoids are found in other foods, such as fruit and vegetables, after all.
I guess that means I can’t justify the chocolate Girl Guide cookie that I just ate?