Another blog I wrote up for the hospital on chocolate…
The main ingredient in chocolate is cocoa and within cocoa there are antioxidants called flavanols. Flavanols have been associated with heart health and improving vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure. However, most chocolate that we consume have been processed or have added sugars and fats that may contribute to excess calories. This can lead to weight gain and can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Also with the processing of the cocoa, it can increase the loss of flavanols. In general, dark chocolate tends to have a greater amount of flavanols than milk chocolate.
But like most things, more studies need to be done and no current study recommends a daily amount. So, when adding chocolate into your diet, be sure to watch where your chocolate is coming from; a Snickers is probably not your healthiest choice. You can add plain cocoa to low-fat milk or oatmeal and remember that moderation is key.