Dark Chocolate Heart Healthy ... in Moderation

"This provides an excellent chance to say, 'you can enjoy what you love if you learn to eat the right amount,'" says Connie Diekman, president of the American Dietetic Association.

The type of dark chocolate is important as well, diet experts say. In the study, the scientists used chocolate with at least 30 mg of polyphenols, which translates into a fairly bitter chocolate mix.

"We're a long way from dark chocolate becoming a deductible expense, but for people who enjoy chocolate, I have been telling them to have the darkest chocolate they can find, at least 70 percent cocoa is dark enough and still quite edible," says Keith Ayoob, associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

"If people want only white or milk chocolate, fine, but no health benefits there -- it's just candy."

Polyphenols can also be found in certain types of tea, apples and red wine.

As for lead author Taubert, he says he eats chocolate for a different reason.

"Yes, I like chocolate. I eat it not for health reasons but only because it's delicious."

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