A Swedish study reported in Wednesday’s issue of Neurology brings vindication for a long-standing
hope hunch at the Palace: “Eating a moderate amount of European chocolate each week may help prevent stroke.”
The study in Wednesday’s issue of the journal Neurology suggested that men who ate one-third of a cup of chocolate chips had a lower risk of stroke than those who didn’t eat any of the sweet treat.
Those eating the highest amount of chocolate had a 17 per cent lower risk of stroke, or 12 fewer strokes per 100,000 person-years compared with those who ate no chocolate. Person-years is the total number of years that each man was under observation.
“These findings suggest that moderate chocolate consumption may lower the risk of stroke,” Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and her co-authors concluded.
I really like this Susanna Larsson person. I feel like she and I could become great friends.
“Because chocolate is high in sugar, saturated fat and calories, it should be consumed in moderation.”
Well Susanna, you know what I always say about moderation: “Everything in moderation. Including moderation.”
A review of similar studies that was part of the research also suggested a 19 per cent decrease in risk of stroke with chocolate consumption.
A 19% reduction is no joke. I know that I, personally, would like to have 19% fewer strokes. Wouldn’t you? Also: I would like to eat more chocolate. Win-win.
Now pay close attention to this next part, because it’s important:
In Sweden, about 90 per cent of the chocolate consumed is milk chocolate, Larrson said. Those sweets tend to be richer in cocoa solids than the most popular types of chocolate in North America.
That’s right, fellow Americans: no craptastic Hershey bars for you. You’re gonna have to spring for the Toblerone. It’s for your health. You don’t want 19% more strokes, do you?
At first I was disheartened to learn that this Swedish study only included men—37,103 of them, aged 49 to 75. This is not my demographic, and research results from studies done on only one sex do not necessarily apply to the other. But then along comes my new BFF Susanna Larsson to put my mind at ease:
Last year, Larsson’s team reported that women who have two small bars of chocolate a week, about 66.5 grams, were about 20 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke than those who abstained from eating it.
20%! According to my ladymath, that’s, like, even better than 19%!
Isn’t Susanna Larsson awesome? Susanna Larsson is freaking awesome.