Part of box with chocolate bonbons on white background

© Marius Droppert |

Dark Chocolate Can Help Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack

February 14, 2018 - 7:58 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Valentine's Day is a good day to go over the heart healthy benefits of eating chocolate. 

Chocolate contains flavanoids -- the natural part of the cocoa bean that has anti-oxidants that help decrease the risk of heart attacks, stroke and atrial fibrillation by dilating blood vessels and making the arteries more elastic. 

But SLU Care interventional cardiologist Dr Michael Lim at SSM Health SLU Hospital says not all chocolate is created equal.

"Milk chocolate itself is highly processed, it also has some dairy fats in it so whatever the potential benefits there are in the flavanoids are balanced out with negative from the fats, so probably stay away from that. The best thing is straight up dark chocolate, the bitterest kind you can find the better it is," he says.