Eating bits of chocolate occasionally can help protect women from heart failure. However, daily consumption seems to negate its positive benefits.
In a first ever nine-year study involving 31,823 Swedish women, researchers looked at the link between quantity of high-quality dark chocolate eaten and the risk of heart failure.
They found that women who ate an average of one to two servings of high-quality chocolate per week had a 32 percent lower risk of developing heart failure, reports the
Those who had one to three servings per month had a 26 percent lower risk, but those who ate at least one serving daily or more didn't appear to benefit from a protective effect against heart failure, said the journal
Circulation: Heart Failure.
Murray Mittleman, who led the study, said the lack of a protective effect among women eating chocolate daily was probably due to the additional calories gained from eating chocolate instead of more nutritious foods.
Mittleman, the director of the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at the Harvard Medical School in US, said: "You can't ignore that chocolate is a relatively calorie-dense food and large amounts of habitual consumption is going to raise your risks for weight gain.
"But if you're going to have a treat, dark chocolate is probably a good choice, as long as it's in moderation."