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Forget diamonds, chocolate is a girl’s new best friend

November 10th, 2011

In society, women seem to constantly be watching their weight; both in order to look good, and to maintain a healthy diet. There are some foods that in moderation are OK and others that just seem to be bad no matter how little the intake is.

In a recent study conducted at the National Institute in Environmental Studies in Stockholm, Sweden, researchers have found that women who have approximately two chocolate bars per week have a lower risk of having a stroke.

Senior Stephanie Czaplenski said that she doesn’t have a huge sweet tooth in general.

“If it was proven that it lowers the risk of having a stroke, I wouldn’t force myself or go the extra mile to eat more chocolate,” she said.

The study consisted of more than 33,000 women between the ages of 49 and 83, in which they were asked how often they ate chocolate along with 95 other different kinds of food in a year.

The reasoning behind why chocolate lowers the risk of a stroke has yet to still be determined, though it is thought to have to do with the amount of cocoa. The more cocoa, the lower the risk.

Cocoa and chocolate contain flavanols found in plant-based foods, and also aid in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

Dark chocolate can have up to 90 percent cocoa, making it most likely the healthier choice over milk chocolate, which contains milk solids, milk and butterfat. This is especially in comparison with white chocolate which by law must contain a minimum of 20 percent cocoa, but also allows for a maximum of 55 percent sugar.

Dr. Javier Provencio, an intensive care doctor at the Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute, did not participate in the study but did comment on the effects.

“For right now, it seems that chocolate is not bad – it may be helpful. But it also has risks to consider, such as weight gain and diabetes control, and everybody should think about that carefully before indulging too much,” Provencio said.

Other students are also a little skeptical.

“There are always new studies coming out saying one thing is good for you and then in a week it changes again. I think that having a balanced healthy diet can do nothing but help you in having a healthy future,” said junior Rebecca Secula.