Every once in a great while, the heavens open and a profound truth shines down upon the Earth. This time? Eating up to 100 grams of chocolate a day can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Let’s do the math: 100 grams is equal to one of those high-end chocolate bars (think Lindt, Perugina, Vosges), or two Hershey milk chocolate bars, or five Godiva truffles, or 20 Hershey Kisses.

We see you shaking your head, as did we. Surely, Valrhona funded this. But no. (“Noooo!” she squealed.)

Researchers in Norfolk, England, tracked almost 21,000 adults over 12 years, studying how diet affected their long-term health. One in five said they ate no chocolate. The rest ate some almost daily, from 7 grams (about two Kisses) to up to 100 grams (see above).

Compared with those who ate no chocolate, the people with higher intake had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes.

The findings were published this month in the British Medical Journal publication called Heart.

Granted, those eating the most chocolate were younger and leaner, with lower blood pressure and more regular physical activity. Still, put another way, researchers said there’s no evidence for cutting out chocolate to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

One oddity, though, is that more of the participants ate milk chocolate, which has fewer of the beneficial plant flavonoids that have prompted the phrase, “Shut up, it’s dark chocolate,” to be hissed over dessert menus across the land.

Clearly, more study is needed.

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