The 'forbidden food' that could save your life

Who says getting healthy means giving up all the foods you love?

Not me!

You won't hear much about this from the fuddy-duddies who want you to obsessively count calories, avoid all fats, and sacrifice good taste in the name of good health... but many of the "forbidden foods" you already love also pack big-time benefits.

And what's more forbidden than chocolate?

If you love chocolate -- and who doesn't? -- I've got some of the best news you've ever heard in your life: This tasty treat can help protect you from today's leading killer disease.

I know that sounds too good to be true, but it IS true, as new research shows how a key compound hidden in cocoa can protect against heart disease.

It's a powerful polyphenol called "epicatechin," and cocoa is absolutely loaded with it.

As a result, older men who have high levels of epicatechin in their diet are nearly 40 PERCENT less likely to die of cardiovascular disease.

The secret? Epicatechin helps your blood vessels use nitric oxide, which keeps blood flowing by boosting the function of your all-important endothelium.

There is a catch here, and it's a pretty big one. You can't just eat a little chocolate every now and then to get the benefit.

No, you're going to have to do more than that... you're going to have to really try your best to eat a little chocolate regularly, because the real benefit goes to seniors who have high levels of epicatechin over the long run.

I know, I know. It's hard work, eating all that chocolate -- but somebody has to do it, and it may as well be you.

This of course isn't a license to chow down on Hershey bar after Hershey bar. In fact, you probably shouldn't eat Hershey bars at all, since milk chocolate contains only a tenth the epicatechin of raw cocoa powder.

Either use unsweetened cocoa powder in drinks and recipes or nibble on a high-quality DARK chocolate, which contains five times the epicatechin of milk chocolate (but only half the levels you'll find in pure cocoa).

Just a little a day -- maybe a square or two -- is all you need, since getting too much of the sugar and other ingredients can cancel out any benefit.

By the way, there's one diet that not only allows a little dark chocolate but actually encourages it -- and that's the same Mediterranean diet you've heard me talk so much about over the years.

Not surprisingly, this same diet will also protect against heart attack and stroke.

Learn more about the benefits of this terrific lifestyle in this free report from my House Calls archives.