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+61 2 6685 7974

LOVE BYRON BAY ....SPECIALISTS IN INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL CHOCOLATE.

Love Byron Bay creperie and chocolate boutique is dedicated to sourcing, creating and sharing a quality chocolate experience from Byron Bay, Australia. We'll cultivate your understanding of cocoa, stimulate the palate with a discerning appreciation, fire the imagination with unique chocolate encounters and share the passion for this legendary food of the gods. Exceptional chocolate infused with delicious flavours, irresistible aromatic characteristics and high quality cocoa. 

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Choc Recipes, Choc Facts, Choc Travels and our regular Chocoholic-not-so-Anonymous feature. All this and more in our weekly blog.

Filtering by Category: Choc Fact

Choc Fact: Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate?

James Lamont

With all the recent talk about how certain types of chocolate are indeed good for you, an excuse to eat it isn't all that hard to find. But before you go and start eating chocolate bar after bar though, there is a small catch to all this good-for-you business. Chocolate, no matter the type, is still a source of calories and because it tastes oh-so-good to so many of us, it's easy to over do it.

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Plus, not all chocolates are created equal. To get the health benefits chocolate provides, you really have to know which chocolate bar offers the most amount of nutrients and the least amount of calorie-ridden fat and sugar.

Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate Although milk chocolate may taste great, it's not nearly as good for you as dark chocolate is. This is because milk chocolate contains less of the original cocoa bean than dark chocolate does. Although milk chocolate does contain cocoa solids, it's often diluted with the addition of milk solids, sugar, and cream. Since milk chocolate does contain some cocoa solids though, its not completely void of all nutrition; however, the nutritional quality is minimal in comparison with dark chocolate, which typically has more of the original cocoa present. This is important because the more cocoa that is present, the higher the nutritional quality. Cocoa is a fabulous source of flavonoids, a special class of antioxidants that are the primary reason chocolate is now considered to be a good-for-you treat.

The more cocoa, the more flavonoids, and the better for you the chocolate becomes. Plus, dark chocolate varieties often have less added sugar and fat which can also improve its overall nutritional value.

The Benefits of Flavonoids Flavonoids are often found in wine, fruits, vegetables, and, of course, dark chocolate. These flavonoids have been shown to reduce the amount of cell damage often implicated in heart disease. Flavonoids also help improve vascular function and can assist in lowering blood pressure. They can also enhance the power of vitamin C and prevent inflammation throughout the body when eaten in proper amounts. Some studies have also shown that they may be beneficial in keeping blood glucose levels stable and may help normalize cholesterol levels as well. 

Of course, the claimed health benefits of flavonoid-rich chocolate comes from mostly short-term, uncontrolled studies, so more research will be needed to confirm how truly beneficial these properties of chocolate are.

Picking the Best Chocolate You want to make sure that you are consuming chocolate in moderation and choosing dark chocolate varieties that contain at least 65% cacao. Don't assume your grocery store check-out dark chocolate bar is best; look for the percentage of cacao first. You may also want to consider rearranging other areas of your diet to make room for your chocolate consumption. Just be smart about it and make sure you aren't removing nutritious options from your regular meal plan so that you can eat more chocolate. Instead, limit yourself to no more than three ounces of chocolate per day and look for ways to incorporate it into other healthy dishes. Fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, and high fiber cereal are just a few nutritious dishes that a sprinkle of chocolate would pair well with. Although consuming chocolate is one way to promote a healthy heart, other dietary changes can be just as beneficial in protecting your cardiovascular function. Instead of consuming a whole bar or even the full three ounces of chocolate, look for other ways to incorporate flavonoids into your day. Fruits and vegetables are always a good choice and you don't have to worry as much about going overboard. Plus, fruits and vegetables are rich in so many other nutrients that eating enough on a regular basis will guarantee not only better heart health, but better overall health as well.

source: www.fitnessmagazine.com

Choc Fact: Why Do Salt & Chocolate Work Wonders Together?

James Lamont

If you think that the words salarysoldier and salt have nothing in common, you’d better keep on reading. In ancient times, salt was difficult to obtain, making it a scarse and expensive commodity. It was a highly valued trade item and was considered a form of currency by certain peoples.

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It makes total sense that the word salary comes from the Latin word “salarium”, which literally means “salt money”. And since Roman soldiers were partly paid in salt, it is said to be for this reason that we get the word soldier from “sal dare”, which means “to give salt”. 

Does the preciousness of salt ring a bell? 

Cacao had pretty much the same value among Mesoamerican populations. To the point that cacao beans were even employed as ready cash! Among the Aztecs of Nicaragua, you could buy a rabbit for 10 cacao beans, a slave for 100 or the services of a prostitute for 8. Whenever they enjoyed their chocolate beverages, they were literally drinking money.

Thousands of years later, salt and cacao find themselves together in the most mouth watering chocolate creations from all over the world.

Why do salt and chocolate pair so well together?

Combining salt and chocolate is no ‘Latest Trend’

If inclusions like turmeric and matcha come and go, chocolate makers and chocolatiers won’t stop adding salt to their chocolate any time soon. You can be sure that you will always find a Sea Salt bar in their assortments. This is because salt works wonders with chocolate, and there are several reasons why:

1) Salt is a sugar detector.

Ever wondered why “a pinch of salt” is always added in dessert recipes? It would seem counterproductive, but it’s not. Paradoxically, salt intensifies the body’s ability to taste the sweetness in the sugar.

When sodium is present, sensors located in our intestines and on our tongue that normally don’t alert to sugar process glucose as sweet. To be more specific, an intestinal glucose sensor known as SGLT1 starts moving glucose into the sweet taste receptor cells when sodium is present, thus triggering the cells to register sweetness. The result is that salt not only alerts our ‘salt sensitivity’, but also triggers a reaction with our ‘sweet sensitive’ taste buds to make them more receptive to sweet flavors. It’s like a second sugar detector is being signaled that you’re eating something sugary.

That pinch of salt enhances tastes and makes flavors “pop”, giving life and energy to the simplest recipes. Most sweet foods, desserts or baked goods will have some amounts of salt added for this purpose. Our beloved chocolate is no exception. With the addition of salt, a fuller chocolate flavor comes up and all the intrinsic flavors are faster brought to the surface to be enjoyed.

2) Salt adds texture and flavor.

Crunchiness often makes chocolate more intriguing (depending on personal taste, of course). A coarser or grainier texture can be the secret to revive a flat chocolate, or to bring a wonderful one to glory. When chocolate professionals add salt to their creations, they can do it for two reasons:

  • to make the chocolate taste “pop”.

  • to actually taste the salt in the chocolate.

In the first case, salt has a supportive role more than being the protagonist. For this purpose, the choice is usually a finer salt whose grains are tiny and almost imperceptible. The result is a slightly grainy texture that doesn’t interfere too much with the smoothness of the chocolate. In the second case, salt is an integrated part of the recipe and has the same importance of all the other ingredients. For this purpose, the choice is usually a specialty salt that brings its own texture and flavor to the table. The crystals are larger to give a salty crunch and taste to the chocolate, and the result is grainier chocolate where salt can be detected at first sight.

In either cases, professionals need to be careful with the quantity they use. Too little, and they don’t get the benefits. Too much, and all they taste is salt. Rule of thumb: balance. Saltiness shouldn’t pass unnoticed, neither overpower the rich chocolate flavor.

3) Salt contrasts sweetness.

Although a “pinch of salt” can be used to enhance sweetness, a more substantial amount of salt can be useful to actually contrast the sweetness of a chocolate creation. Let’s be aware that cacao is not sweet itself. Even the most fruity and floral cacao is still considered to be “bitter” by most palates. What salt can help to contrast is the sweetness of sugar and other sweet inclusions. With ingredients like caramel, milk, vanilla or dried fruits, it’s easy to reach an overwhelming level of sweetness fast. By adding salt in this kind of inclusion bars, chocolate professionals ensure that the sweet ingredients are kept at bay thanks to the sodium. This sweet-and-salty contrast can also bring to life innovative chocolate creations that challenge the limits of our palates.

Like it or not, salt and chocolate is like bread and butter, peanut butter and jelly, cheese and wine. That kind of pairing that will never go out of style.

Source: thechocolatejournalist.com

Choc Facts : Belgiums' chocolate postage stamps

Alison Campbell

It is a chocolate lover’s idea of a perfect postage stamp: Everything is cocoa-scented and even the glue tastes like chocolate when licked. To celebrate Belgium’s renowned chocolatiers, in 2013 the country’s post office, Bpost, launched a set of limited-edition stamps that smelt and tasted like chocolate.

More than 500,000 stamps were printed on special paper imbued with the aroma of cocoa and covered in a glue to looked and smelt like chocolate and melted on the tip of your tongue just like a piece of chocolate.

The five limited edition stamps from the Belgian post office Bpost celebrated the country's renowned chocolatiers and featured chocolate in all its forms.

The secret of Bpost’s tasty stamps was in their glue:  It contained 40 percent of a cocoa product and was developed by an international team of fragrance and taste experts from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland after a thorough research on scratch-and-sniff technologies.

The special stamps featured famous Belgian chocolate in its various delicious forms: sprinkles, chocolate, nutella, rough pieces and chocolate bars. “It is not the first scented stamp … but this time it has been combined with a flavour,” the Belgian postal service said.

Sourcebbc.com

Choc Facts: Cacao vs Cocoa...what you need to know.

Alison Campbell

On initial impressions it might seem like the only real difference between cacao and cocoa is the spelling. But there’s a little more to it than that…

What is cacao?

Cacao can refer to any of the food products derived from cacao beans – the seeds or nuts of the cacao tree. These include cacao nibs, cacao butter, cacao mass or paste and (probably the most common) cacao powder.

Cacao v cocoa powder

Raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa. 
The cacao fruit tree, also known as Theobroma Cacao, produces cacao pods which are cracked open to release cacao beans. From there, cacao beans can be processed a few different ways.
Cacao butter is the fattiest part of the fruit and makes up the outer lining of the inside of a single cacao bean. It is white in color and has a rich, buttery texture that resembles white chocolate in taste and appearance.
Cacao butter is removed from the bean during production and the remaining part of the fruit is used to produce raw cacao powder.
Cacao nibs are simply cacao beans that have been chopped up into edible pieces, much like chocolate chips without the added sugars and fats. Cacao nibs contain all of the fiber, fat, and nutrients that the cacao bean does.
Cacao paste comes from cacao nibs that have been slowly heated to preserve the nutrients and are melted into a bark known that is a less-processed form of dark chocolate bars. Cacao paste can be used to make raw vegan desserts or you can just eat it as an indulgent snack by itself!
Cacao powder contains more fiber and calories than cocoa powder since more of the nutrients from the whole bean are still intact. 

Cocoa looks the same but it’s not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at high temperatures. Surprisingly, it still retains antioxidants in the process and is still excellent for your heart, skin, blood pressure, and even your stress levels. But roasting does change the molecular structure of the cocoa bean, reducing the enzyme content and lowering the overall nutritional value.

So what are the health benefits of cacao?

Cacao powder has been linked to a variety of benefits:

  • Lowering insulin resistance.
  • Protecting your nervous system: Cacao is high in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant also found in red wine, known for its ability to cross your blood-brain barrier to help protect your nervous system.
  • Shielding nerve cells from damage.
  • Cutting your risk of stroke.
  • Lowering blood pressure.
  • Reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease: The antioxidants found in cacao help to maintain healthy levels of nitric oxide (NO) in the body. Although NO has heart-benefiting qualities, such as relaxing blood vessels and reducing blood pressure, it also produces toxins. The antioxidants in cacao neutralise these toxins, protecting your heart and preventing disease.
  • It guards against toxins: As a potent antioxidant, cacao can repair the damage caused by free radicals and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. In fact, cacao contains far more antioxidants per 100g than acai, goji berries and blueberries. Antioxidants are responsible for 10 per cent of the weight of raw cacao.
  • It can boost your mood: cacao can increase levels of certain neurotransmitters that promote a sense of well-being. And the same brain chemical that is released when we experience deep feelings of love – phenylethylamine – is found in chocolate.
  • It provides minerals: magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and manganese.

If cacao is more beneficial than cocoa because it’s raw, what happens when we cook it?

There is no current research on whether or not heating raw cacao destroys its antioxidant level, making it more akin to its heated and processed cousin cocoa. BUT, starting off with the product in its raw form, has to be more beneficial than starting with an already heated and processed equivalent.

Browse our range of raw cacao products by clicking on this link. Or pop into the Boutique where one of our staff will be able to talk you through our range. 

Sourcesiquitsugar.com and onegreenplanet.org

Choc Facts: why bother going organic with your chocolate?

Alison Campbell

Who on earth cares about organic chocolate?

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Chocolate is sort of an indulgence after all and not eaten in pounds per week like apples or tomatoes, so do I really need to worry about which chocolate I put into my body?

Cacao pods (a.k.a. cocoa pods) grow on trees found almost exclusively in the “cocoa belt,” a band 20 degrees north and south of the equator.   From these pods come beans that are fermented, dried, roasted, and transformed into that smooth, luscious solid we all know and love.

No one wants harmful pesticides in their food, but the benefits of organic chocolate go well beyond the obvious.  Cacao trees are usually found in lush rain forest environments that are homes to monkeys, sloths, wild birds and other unique creatures.  The use of pesticides endangers the rich biodiversity of these eco-systems.  If that’s not bad enough, some companies will clear cut the jungle first in order to plant cacao trees in neat rows – a procedure that is completely unnecessary to grow cacao.  The canopy trees that would normally form a natural habit for jungle animals is destroyed.

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Not only are rain forest animals at risk from chemical exposure, but also humans – the plantation workers.   

In some cocoa growing regions such as West Africa, where most mass-market cocoa is grown, there are fewer controls on the safety of farm workers.   

When companies seek the lowest cost beans from the global commodity market, they are blind to the social issues connected to their chocolate. 

So how can you be sure you’re getting the organic stuff? 

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It’s easy to pick out an organic chocolate bar from the crowd:  just look for an organic seal on the label.  

In Australia, organic certification is performed by several organisations that are accredited by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) under the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce. The big ones are NASAA Certified Organic  Australian Certified Organic (ACO)  and the Organic Food Chain

With so much excellent chocolate coming from Europe, you may see organic seals from France or Belgium. In the US, the USDA Organic Seal is well known. You can be confident that any of these seals is credible evidence that basic organic practices are followed.

Some have criticized organic labeling as a marketing ploy that only larger companies can afford since the certification and associated inspections cost money.  But  in our mind, organic certification leaves the details to the experts and hands us the answer in an easy to understand format.  That can’t be a bad thing.  

If you’re lucky enough to find an artisan making organic truffles, there’s a good chance that only some of the ingredients, say the chocolate shell, are organic.  Have a conversation with the proprietor and understand where their chocolate comes from.  Is it organic? Is it fair trade?  If you can find such a shop, you’ve got a gem since bulk organic chocolate used for making confections is in short supply.  That's where Love Byron Bay can help. Our website specialises in organic and fair trade chocolate, and all of the brands featured on this blog post are certified organic.

Does organic chocolate taste as good as “conventional” chocolate?

Yes, of course it does!  The flavour of the chocolate has to do with the variety of cacao, the diligence of the farmer and the skill of the chocolate maker.   Cacao farmers using pesticides and other chemicals can get more pods from their trees and improve profit, but this won’t help the flavour of the chocolate one bit.  In fact, organic chocolates are less likely to contain ingredients that have no place in high quality chocolate such as chemical additives or vegetable oils.  These ingredients only distract from the true flavor of the bean.

 

Assuming the bar is not flavoured with fruits or nuts, you should see at most four ingredients in a chocolate bar:  cocoa mass (or cocoa liqueur or cocoa solids), sugar, vanilla and soy lecithin.  That’s it.  So keep it simple – look for a simple ingredients list, look for organic certification and ask us for more information on the organic brands we carry in store. 

 

 

Source kokobuzz.wordpress.com

Choc Facts: the time New Zealand's Chocolate Milk Black Market boomed

Alison Campbell

in 2014, small-batch chocolate milk created by a little creamery in New Zealand started selling on the black market at a 138 percent markup, such was its popularity.

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As reported on Stuff.co’s NZFarmer website, people not only lined up in large numbers to snag a few bottles of Lewis Road Creamery’s chocolate milk, but some also took this liquid gold and turned a tidy profit on the secondary market. Reports suggested that 75-milliliter bottles of the good stuff were seen on Trade Me, a New Zealand-based peer-to-peer auction site, for as much as 15 New Zealand dollars ($11.74) a bottle, nearly double the retail price of NZ$6.29.

Hoarding of the chocolate milk was such that supermarkets had to institute per-person buying limits and install security guards to maintain order. And what exactly was causing this chocolate-milk mania? Why were people queuing up for hours and raiding markets—one in particular sold 500 bottles in 90 minutes—for this take on a childhood favorite? Lewis Road is a small-batch creamery beloved by Kiwis, but they were totally unprepared for the popular support for the product, which combines organic milk with Whittakers’ chocolate, another New Zealand favorite. 

Chocolate milk is objectively delicious, whether cold, boxed, hot or malted. But where did it come from? Who first thought to add chocolate and milk together? According to the Natural History Museum in Britain, that credit goes to Sir Hans Sloane, an Irish botanist. Sloane spent some time in Jamaica in the early 1700s, where the local people gave him cocoa to drink. “He found it 'nauseous' but by mixing it with milk made it more palatable," the museum says. When he returned to England, Sloane brought the milk and cocoa mixture with him, and for many years it was sold as medicine.

But, as with most things, the European who gets credit for inventing something probably did not actually invent it. According to Jame Delbougo, a historian, the Jamaicans were brewing “a hot beverage brewed from shavings of freshly harvested cacao, boiled with milk and cinnamon” as far back as 1494. And chocolate has been known to humans as far back as 350 B.C. It's hard to believe that no one before Sloane thought to put milk in it.

Even Europeans had known about chocolate since 1502, when Columbus brought it back from his conquests in the Americas—although it wasn’t until Cortez pillaged the Aztecs in 1516 that Europeans actually figured out what to do with cacao. In fact, Cortez had a similar reaction to Sloan when served the bitter drink—he added spices and sugar to cut the bite. (If you want to make that kind of hot chocolate, try this Mesoamerican recipe.)


Source smithsonianmag.com and vocativ.com

Choc Facts: 10 More Delicious Facts About Chocolate That You Probably Didn't Know

Alison Campbell

Ten more delicious facts about chocolate that you probably didn't know. Perfect dinner party fodder. 

11. The inventor of the chocolate chip cookie, Ruth Wakefield, sold her cookie recipe to Nestle in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate.

12. Ben & Jerry’s made the first cookie dough ice cream after receiving an anonymous suggestion on their flavor suggestion board in its Burlington, Vermont, shop.

13. There is a rare fourth kind of chocolate in addition to the classic milk, dark, and white varieties: blond chocolate.

14. The film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was financed by Quaker Oats to promote its new Wonka Bar candy. This is also why the film is called “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” instead of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” like the book it’s based on.

15. The first chocolate bar was invented in 1847 by Joseph Fry.

16. The chocolate industry is worth approximately $110 billion per year.

17. Milky Way candy bars are not named after the galaxy. The name came from the malted milkshakes whose flavor they originally intended to mimic.

18. In 1947 hundreds of Canadian kids went on strike and boycotted chocolate after the price of a chocolate bar jumped from 5 to 8 cents.

19. The largest chocolate bar ever weighed just over 12,770 pounds.

20. The most valuable chocolate bar in the world is a 100-year-old Cadbury’s chocolate bar that was brought along on Captain Robert Scott’s first Discovery Expedition to the Antarctic. It sold for $687 at auction in 2001.

Watch this space for more delicious facts next month. :)

Source: buzzfeed.com

Choc Facts: 10 Delicious Facts About Chocolate That You Probably Didn't Know

Alison Campbell

Ten delicious facts about chocolate that you probably didn't know. Perfect dinner party fodder. 

1. There is a correlation between the amount of chocolate a country consumes on average and the number of Nobel Laureates that country has produced.

2. A jewel thief made off with $28 million dollars of gems in 2007 because he was able to gain the trust of the guards working the bank in Antwerp, Belgium, by repeatedly offering them chocolate.

3. The blood in Psycho’s famous shower scene was actually chocolate syrup.

4. At one point the Nazis plotted to assassinate Winston Churchill with an exploding bar of chocolate.

5. Chocolate was consumed as a liquid, not a solid, for 90% of its history.

6. The Aztec emperor Montezuma II drank more than 50 cups of chocolate every day.

7. A wide range of substances have been ground up and mixed with chocolate, including, in the pre-Columbia era, possible dinosaur fossils.

8. During the Revolutionary War, soldiers were sometimes paid in chocolate.

9. Chocolate gives you a more intense mental high and gets your heart pounding more than kissing does.

10. Hershey’s Kisses got their name from the kissing sound the machine that deposits the chocolate on the conveyor belt makes.

Watch this space for more delicious facts next month. :)

Source: buzzfeed.com

Choc Fact: Eating chocolate every day reduces the risk of heart disease.

Alison Campbell

Eating up to 100g of chocolate every day is linked to lowered heart disease and stroke risk, finds research published online in the journal Heart. There doesn't seem to be any evidence for cutting out chocolate to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, conclude the researchers.

They base their findings on almost 21,000 adults taking part in the EPIC-Norfolk study, which is tracking the impact of diet on the long term health of 25,000 men and women in Norfolk, England, using food frequency and lifestyle questionnaires.

The researchers also carried out a systematic review of the available international published evidence on the links between chocolate and cardiovascular disease, involving almost 158,000 people-including the EPIC study participants.

The EPIC-Norfolk participants (9214 men and 11 737 women) were monitored for an average of almost 12 years, during which time 3013 (14%) people experienced either an episode of fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease or stroke. Around one in five (20%) participants said they did not eat any chocolate, but among the others, daily consumption averaged 7 g, with some eating up to 100 g.

Higher levels of consumption were associated with younger age and lower weight (BMI), waist: hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, inflammatory proteins, diabetes and more regular physical activity - all of which add up to a favourable cardiovascular disease risk profile. Eating more chocolate was also associated with higher energy intake and a diet containing more fat and carbs and less protein and alcohol.

The calculations showed that compared with those who ate no chocolate higher intake was linked to an 11% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 25% lower risk of associated death. It was also associated with a 9% lower risk of hospital admission or death as a result of coronary heart disease, after taking account of dietary factors. And among the 16,000 people whose inflammatory protein (CRP) level had been measured, those eating the most chocolate seemed to have an 18% lower risk than those who ate the least.

The highest chocolate intake was similarly associated with a 23% lower risk of stroke, even after taking account of other potential risk factors.

Of nine relevant studies included in the systematic review, five studies each assessed coronary heart disease and stroke outcome, and they found a significantly lower risk of both conditions associated with regular chocolate consumption. And it was linked to a 25% lower risk of any episode of cardiovascular disease and a 45% lower risk of associated death.

This is an observational study so no definitive conclusions about cause and effect can be drawn. And the researchers point out that food frequency questionnaires do involve a certain amount of recall bias and underestimation of items eaten. Reverse causation- whereby those with a higher cardiovascular disease risk profile eat less chocolate and foods containing it than those who are healthier- may also help to explain the results, they say. Nevertheless, they add: "Cumulative evidence suggests that higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events."

And they point out that as milk chocolate, which is considered to be less 'healthy' than dark chocolate, was more frequently eaten by the EPIC-Norfolk participants, the beneficial health effects may extend to this type of chocolate too. "This may indicate that not only flavonoids, but also other compounds, possibly related to milk constituents, such as calcium and fatty acids, may provide an explanation for the observed association," they suggest.

And they conclude: "There does not appear to be any evidence to say that chocolate should be avoided in those who are concerned about cardiovascular risk."

Source: Heart, British Medical Journal, 15 June 2015
Photo: larisabozhikova/Fotolia