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Chocolate a Healthy Food?

Dear Dr. Dave & Dr. Dee,

I love chocolate and must have it every day. My husband says that I'm addicted to chocolate and that it's not good for me to eat it so often. I am not overweight and do not have any health problems. What is your opinion of chocolate?



Dear Chocoholic,

Chocolate, in particular dark chocolate, may have some health benefits for your heart and vascular system.

Researcher, Mary Engler, "was 'astounded' to see that when compared with other flavonoid-rich foods such as blueberries, tomatoes and tea, chocolate was the clear winner. Dark chocolate has 13 times the antioxidant capacity of broccoli, for example: (Engler cited in UCSF News, 2008).

Flavonoids in dark chocolate were associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, prevent blood clots, and decrease in blood pressure.

Although Engler's study patients consumed 1.6 ounces of chocolate every day for two weeks, Engler recommends only 6.7 grams (.23 ounces) of dark chocolate per day for healthy adults, which is a tiny piece of a standard size chocolate bar (UCSF News, 2008).

As in all things, moderation is the key. As long as you have a healthy balanced diet, a little chocolate every day is probably fine, so enjoy.