Guilty Pleasures That Are Great For You

chocolate bars( — Yes, living health is the key to being healty. But another key to a healthy life is actually enjoying it, and moderately partaking in a few guilty pleasures, can lower your risks of certain illnesses.

So go ahead and…

Eat some chocolate. Recent studies have found that people who ate dark chocolate can reduce their risk of heart disease by as much as 37 percent, their risk of stroke by 29 percent, and their risk of being hospitalized for heart failure. However, for this to be a healthy habit, moderation is key — which means eating less than one serving (about 1 ounce) one or two days each week. Women who ate one or more servings a day didn’t lower their heart failure risk. Your best choice is 100 percent cocoa powder, which you can use when you’re making desserts or even hot (or cold) chocolate.

Have a drink. Whether drinking alcohol lowers your risk of heart disease has been a topic of debate, but a recent analysis of studies found that light to moderate drinking is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and death. What is considered “light to moderate” consumption? The study said it was less than one alcoholic drink per day.