You’ve (or at least I’ve) got to love this:

Among those who ate the most chocolate–averaging more than four grams a day–average systolic and diastolic blood pressure was 3.7 and 2.1 millimeters of mercury lower than their chocolate-spurning peers. This result did not hold true for other sweet foods nor did it vary among men who also smoked, were inactive or consumed a lot of alcohol. And, despite being strongly associated with greater intake of calories, chocolate lowered the overall risk of cardiovascular or any other disease by as much as 50 percent.

I was a little dubious, though: the high consumption group only averaged four grams a day? A bit of googling turned this article up:

The 4.18g/d intake of cocoa in the highest tertile is equal to 10 g of dark chocolate a day and about a 10th the dose used in most intervention studies, Buijsse said. This suggests that a small amount of cocoa may lower blood pressure.

So that 4g is cocoa powder, and even dark chocolate (by which they mean what exactly – 50%?) contains a fair amount of other stuff. Still, 10g of chocolate is a really low amount: most evenings, for example, we split a bar of good chocolate three ways; that gives us each an ounce or so of chocolate, which is a good deal more than 10g. So I guess I can’t really use this as an excuse to further increase my chocolate consumption; but I’m not about to stop eating the stuff, either.

I would appreciate it if researchers could next turn to proving that milk fat is good for you. I suggest cheese as a place to start – honestly, does it sound all that implausible that some kinds of cheese might have mysterious health benefits? I suppose ice cream would be a bit of a stretch, though…

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