I missed the first part of this evening’s TV news broadcast but managed to catch the second half. I am glad I did; otherwise I would have missed a fabulous story – forget about earthquakes and hurricanes and revolutions – that is truly life-changing, earth-shattering news.
The results of five scientific studies on the benefits of chocolate were published this week on the British Medical Journal website. The results, summarized on the Medical News website, report a “beneficial link” between higher levels of eating chocolate and the risk of “cardiovascular events”. The studies show that the “highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared to the lowest levels”.
Chocolate is good for you because it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Frankly I do not care why chocolate is good for me, I just want to indulge. After all, I am all for healthy eating. I like salads, fruits and vegetables, restrict red meat consumption and try to limit my intake of sugar and salt. Adding a good dose of chocolate to my diet (OK, my eating plan is not really a diet in the trying-to-lose-weight-weight-watchers-Jenny-Craig-Nutrisystem definition, but more of an all-inclusive eating strategy) is beneficial, tastes terrific and is fun to eat.
The studies found no difference between dark and milk chocolate. My favorite is dark, but treat yourself to your favorite kind.
So bring on the Godiva, the Hershey kisses, Wilbur chocolate buds, Lake Champlain chocolates, M&Ms, Lindt chocolate bars, Ghirardelli…the list of dark chocolate brands(did I mention that’s my favorite?) produced around the world by small boutique companies and major producers is lengthy. Many of the brands can be found on the website fine dark chocolate…and I do not want anyone to forget or forego chocolate cake and other chocolate concoctions, brownies and the number one (non-alcoholic) cold weather beverage - hot chocolate.
Of course there is a caveat. The findings need to be “interpreted with caution” because most chocolate products have loads of calories and could lead to weight gain, which could then leave folks susceptible to health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, loss of self-esteem and the possible violent behavior induced when looking at yourself in the mirror (I added the last two—I can do that; it’s called writer’s literary license. But I believe it’s true. I just need to conduct some scientific studies to prove it.)
I am now going to enjoy some chocolate. I invite everyone to do the same.