The combination of fat and sugar in chocolate has been shown to have a mood-calming effect, which is why most of us reach for it when we're stressed. And chocolate has been linked to lower rates of stroke, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular conditions. More recently, a sounds-too-awesome-to-be-true study published in Archives of Internal Medicine showed that those who ate about five servings of chocolate a week had lower BMI than those who ate none (researchers stressed that the key was frequency, not quantity, of chocolate consumption).
The Alternate: Three 3 Musketeers fun-size bars (190 calories, 4g saturated fat) or 1 York Peppermint Patty (140 calories, 1.5g saturated fat). A little chocolate goes a long way: Studies show that a small amount can act as a painkiller.
Even Healthier: 3 Dove dark-chocolate squares (132 calories, 4.8g saturated fat). Antioxidant-rich dark chocolate is high in flavonoids, which can improve vascular function, Gensler says.