GENEVA (AFP) - A strip or two of dark or bitter chocolate may not only bring a touch of seasonal cheer but can also help smokers avoid heart disease, according to Swiss research.
"In my view, dark chocolate can be included as part of an overall heart-healthy diet -- for instance, adequately balancing its calories with a decrease in other desserts and snack foods," said Jeffrey Blumberg, director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, in Boston.
Obviously, the darker the better. Always check the label for the cocoa content. You can go to Whole Foods and get non-brand name chocolate with the percentage of cocoa listed. Or, choose a brand name and search the fine print for the amount of cocoa. (Seventy four percent cocoa was used in this study.)