Chocolate is derived from the fermented and cooked beans of the cacao tree and was originally found in Central America and Mexico. Nowadays there are different varieties of chocolate including dark, milk and white.

Dark chocolate contains little or no dairy products and appears to retain the health giving flavonoid properties.

Current evidence seems to indicate that milk and white chocolate have no particular health giving properties. Milk and white chocolate have an appreciable amount of sugar and fat without the health giving flavonoid compounds. Milk chocolate contains milk fat added to the cacao solids whereas white chocolate contains only cacao butter and no cacao solids.

Dark chocolate, in coming out on top in current health research is looking more promising. Maybe the flavinoids in dark chocolate will turn out to be good for patients with diabetes. Maybe chocolate will turn out to be part of our battery of pills and potions designed to prevent heart disease. What we really need is more research with large randomised controlled trials to study any possible long-term benefit for cardiovascular health.