Your sweet tooth may reduce your risk of stroke, especially if you’re female, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and reported by Agence France Presse.

For the study, researches at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm followed more than 33,000 women, between ages 49 and 83, during a 10-year period. Participants filled out questionnaires about their eating habits and indicated how often during the year they ate 95 different foods, including chocolate.

After scientists took known risk factors for stroke into account, researchers found that women who ate the most chocolate, on average 2.3 ounces per week (about one candy bar and a half) showed a 20 percent lower risk of suffering a stroke. Women who ate the least amount of chocolate (between 0 and 0.3 ounces per week) suffered the most strokes.

While women in the study weren’t asked to tell whether they ate milk or dark chocolate, researchers confirmed that 90 percent of the chocolate eaten in Sweden in the ’90s was the sweeter kind, milk chocolate. Scientists believe dark chocolate would have had an even stronger stroke-reducing connection since this version of the treat contains the highest amount of cocoa. (Cocoa contains antioxidants that reduce blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol and improve insulin resistance.)

Next, researchers plan to focus on how eating chocolate affects men’s health.

While this is good news for chocoholics, RH advises people to eat balanced meals to lower their risk of stroke and to stay healthy.

Click here to see ways you can eat sensibly.