OK, fine, we’ll admit it. This latest bit of research only relates to chocolate of the darker variety. However, there is a glimmer of hope for your Dairy Milk habit. Another recent study linked milk chocolate to an equal boost to cardiac health as those tucking into Bourneville. So who knows? Your snacking could soon make you live longer and run faster.
For devout fitness enthusiasts, a heavy-duty chocolate bar is a no-go nutritional area. To the rest of us, however, it more accurately resembles a brief flurry of bliss and a heavy dent on early summer six-pack plans.
Of course, dark chocolate has for some time been regarded as the athlete’s treat. A new study from London’s Kingston University asked nine amateur cyclists to eat 40g of dark chocolate each day for two weeks, increasing the distance they were able to travel in a two minute sprint by 158m. It is the prodigal son of confectionary, a reformed nutritional spendthrift welcomed back into the clean-eater’s bosom on account of its antioxidant profile. Poor, sugary, milk chocolate, on the other hand, is still considered the wanton harlot of the corner shop.
Until now, that is. University of Aberdeen researchers have chanced upon a sweet deal that will help make binges guilt-free. The study, published in the journal Heart, found that eating 100g of milk chocolate – that’s about five Freddo bars to you and us – lowers your chance of death from heart disease by 25 per cent; meanwhile your stroke risk drops by 23 per cent, too.
Those polyphenols beloved of Green & Blacks evangelists? Turns out there’s equal benefit in your bar of Dairy Milk. Admittedly, we can’t promise it will do much for your weightloss goals; neither are we suggesting that Kit Kats are the new kale. But there is at least some virtue to be found in an Easter Monday chocolate coma. In your heart of hearts, you know it’s right.