Australian researchers estimate that investing about $40 a year in dark chocolate could be a cost-effective strategy for reducing the risk of heart disease. This conclusion is the result of a complex mathematical model based on data from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle study and from the medical literature. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids that can relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure, help prevent blood clots and lower insulin resistance. The analysis assumed that people with metabolic syndrome would eat dark chocolate every day for 10 years.
The hypothetical dose is high, about 100 grams of chocolate daily. Although the Australian researchers did not include weight gain in their model, this would add up to a lot of calories. Even though most people find dark chocolate a pleasant and therefore sustainable treatment option, some might prefer fewer calories. Research over the past several years supported by Mars Botanical has shown that the company’s CocoaVia product with 250 mg of cocoa flavanols per serving has a significant positive effect on blood vessels without the calories of chocolate.