Eat up: But only dark chocolate, not high-fat high-sugar milk chocolate, showed tangible benefits Here's good news for chocolate lovers. Eating chocolate twice or more a week can significantly reduce the risk of dying from heart disease in heart attack survivors, a new research has found. Previous studies have shown that hot chocolate and dark chocolate may possess certain beneficial effects on human health. Now giving chocolate lovers one more reason to eat this flavoring agent, a Swedish study is confirming that eating chocolate can reduce heart attack survivors' risk of dying. Chocolate good for heart patients In their study, the Swedish researchers found that people ate chocolate two or more times per week were at substantially reduced risk of dying from heart disease than those who never ate chocolate. To reach their findings, lead researcher Imre Janszky of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues included 1,169 Swedish men and women between the ages of 45 and 70 and followed then from the time they were hospitalized with their first-ever heart attack in the early 1990s. Before leaving the hospital, all patients answered some questions about their food consumption habits over the previous year, including how much chocolate they consumed on a regular basis. Study findings After studying the data, Janszky and colleagues found that the risk of death from heart disease was cut threefold for those who ate chocolate two or more times a week than those who never ate chocolate. They found that "the incidence of fatal heart attacks correlated inversely with the amount of chocolate consumed." The study also found that consuming smaller quantities of chocolate goodies also offers some protection for heart attack survivors. "Our findings support increasing evidence that chocolate is a rich source of beneficial bioactive compounds," the researchers wrote. The study, published in the September issue of the Journal of Internal Medicine, is believed to be the first to demonstrate that chocolate can help prevent death in heart patients who have suffered acute myocardial infarction, otherwise known as a heart attack. "It was specific to chocolate…we found no benefit to sweets in general," AFP quoted the study co-author, Kenneth Mukamal, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. So what makes dark chocolate beneficial for human health? Researchers believe that antioxidants in cocoa possess the health-improving properties. "It seems that antioxidants in cocoa are a likely candidate" Mukamal told AFP.