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E. The Benefits of Eating Chocolate

Narrator: This is Science Today. A recent University of California study has found that people who ate one dark chocolate bar a week experienced an increase in blood vessel dilation, which is an important indicator of cardiovascular health. Researcher Mary Engler says that's because dark chocolate contains flavanols - a class of the heart-healthy flavanoids found in back tea and red wine.

Engler:There is a difference between the dark chocolate and the milk chocolate. Milk chocolate has milk in it and it dilutes out the amount of flavanoids. Dark chocolate has a higher percentage of flavanoids.

Narrator:And surprisingly, study participants didn't raise their cholesterol or weight by eating a dark chocolate bar, two weeks straight.

Engler: Chocolate has always had a bad rap because of the high calories and the fat content, but forty percent of the chocolate is represented as mono and saturate fat - oleic acid - which can lower LDL, or the bad cholesterol. The other sixty percent consists of thirty-five percent of stearic acid, which is cholesterol neutral.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.