High levels of chocolate consumption might be associated with a one third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease. Really? Candy bars, truffles and Bon Bons may have chocolate, but they are not healthy for us. Data from a metaanalysis showed that the highest chocolate eaters have a 37% lower risk for heart disease and a 29% lower risk for stroke. The study did not differentiate between dark and milk chocolate. Many chocolate products are high in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, milk and vanilla. You simply have to read the ingredients before trusting that a "chocolate" product is healthy for your heart.
Dark chocolate by itself does have health benefits by lowering blood pressure, increasing HDL, slowing the rate of LDL oxidation, a mild anticoagulant effect, improved insulin sensitivity, and boosted serotonin and endorphins. Whatever else is in chocolate products often has the reverse effects!