You don’t need a PhD on chocolate to know that it’s great. (Seriously, those exist — the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at Cambridge University is looking for a would-be doctor.) Yet knowing the health benefits of the tasty treat do require at least some education. For example, dark chocolate, which is made with cacao, is packed with chemicals such as flavonoids and theobromine that can reduce heart disease risk and lower cholesterol.
While these extra perks of eating candy offer an excuse to indulge just a little bit, it’s important to consume the right kind. Milk and light chocolates contain lots of sugar and milk to give them their sweet taste and are made with limited amounts of cacao. Chocolate on the market in the United States is required to have at least 10 percent of the beans, the seeds of fruit of the tropical tree Theobroma cacao. Hershey’s, for example, is about 11 percent cacao, and chocolate that contains at least 65 percent is best for you.
Growing evidence shows that a square of chocolate a day might actually keep the doctor away. But maybe we’ll wait for the choco-doc’s opinion to be totally sure.