Over the course of a 10-year study, Australian researchers found that eating chocolate at least once a week protected the hearts of women older than 70.
The women were 35 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die from heart disease and 60 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die from heart failure during the course of the study.
Moderation, of course, is key. Too much sugar and fat, the researchers warn, could contribute to obesity, which would offset any benefits the chocolate might have.
The single serving per week is about an ounce. A regular Hershey’s chocolate bar contains about 1.5 ounces.
Dark chocolate, with 65 percent or higher cocoa content, has more heart-healthy antioxidants than its milk or white counterparts. Avoid chocolate with sugary fillings, such as nougat or caramel, which just add extra calories.