EATING chocolate cuts the danger of dying young by 12 per cent, a study says.
Regular consumers’ risk of fatal heart disease or cancer falls by up to 16 per cent.
Fans who munch the equivalent of two Dairy Milk bars a week were four times less likely to suffer diabetes than those who eat none.
Experts say chocolate can lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure and, to cap it all, devotees tend to be slimmer and more active.
Scientists say compounds in cocoa known as flavonoids boost the health of blood vessels.
Prof Jiaqi Huang, of the US National Cancer Institute in Maryland, said the study may “partially allay concerns regarding adverse health outcomes from low-to-moderate chocolate consumption”.
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The British Heart Foundation said the study was not conclusive enough for it to recommend eating chocolate to lessen heart disease risk.
It said: “It’s fine to treat yourself now and again, but no single food or nutrient is more important than an overall balanced healthy diet.”
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