Can eating more chocolate actually be a smart, healthy decision? Yes, it can, despite everything your parents used to say.

(We'll give you a minute to run out and pick up a Snickers.)

Wait, put that candy bar down! We didn't mean all chocolate-related goods are now good for you. But there are plenty of reasons to add a bit more of the glorious brown stuff to your diet—you just need to know how to do it right.

Dr. David Katz, author of 'Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well,' spoke with Will Clower, author of 'Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight: New Science Proves You Should Eat Chocolate Every Day' about the not-so-well-known health benefits of chocolate. Here are a few key points:

1. Dark Chocolate Is Good for Your Heart and Your Brain

Eating chocolate just makes you feel better—that's actually true, when you do it right. Chocolate comes naturally with healthy components like cocoa butter and fiber, plus it has lots of great protein. As Dr. Clower says, "All of the health benefits for your heart and for your muscles and for your basal metabolic rate, all that comes from the cocoa itself."

Eat chocolate, feel better, get healthier? That's right.

2. But Candy Bars Are Still a Bad Choice

Sorry, but things like nougat and caramel—in other words, most of what comprises a Snickers or a Milky Way—are not at all healthy. "If you’ve got nougat and caramel and wafer, all that stuff is terrible for you, when in fact the good chocolate is the solid dark chocolate," Dr. Clower says.

So just stick with the solid chocolate, okay? Is that really too much to ask?

3. Eating Chocolate Can Keep Your Weight Down

Now this sounds totally counterintuitive, but it's true. The way chocolate interacts with your digestive system actually leads to a lower appetite. Just listen to Dr. Clower:

The cocoa butter and the fiber and the protein that just comes naturally in chocolate helps to slow the rate that your stomach empties into your small intestine which helps to slow the rate the blood sugar is absorbed into your system—so that you’re not hungry. Because of that physiological response people end up controlling consumption by adding that chocolate.

See? It's just science.

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