I hate chocolate. Really. There are very few chocolaty, gooey things that I'll actually eat. Kraft's (NYSE: KFT ) non-fat Jell-O pudding that blends chocolate and vanilla qualifies. So do peanut M&Ms. But chocolate ice cream? Yuck.
For most of my life, this was no big deal. Till I met my wife, that is. She loves chocolate, so much so that when she's trying to kick the habit -- as she is now -- she'll chomp on five Altoids. At one time. You know how serious that is if you've ever tried Altoids. Just one is a positively nuclear experience.
But apparently, I'm the weirdo. Most people love chocolate. Which is why privately held M&M Mars has introduced a line of heart-healthy chocolate bars called CocoaVia. Really. Listen to this, taken directly from the press release announcing the sweet stuff: "Ingredients in CocoaVia can significantly reduce LDL or 'bad' cholesterol levels and promote healthy circulation to maintain heart health."
And you thought such goody two-shoes decadence was reserved for vintners. Silly Fool.
Apparently, the secret sauce took 10 years to create. Yowsa. The labs must have really split some atoms to make this work, huh? Well, not exactly. The key to CocoaVia's nutritional value lies in what appear to be naturally occurring plant chemicals called flavanols and sterols. Flavanols can be found in cocoa and have antioxidant qualities. Sterols are found in many different vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Each somehow contributes to CocoaVia's cholesterol-busting formula.
The jury's still out on CocoaVia, which was introduced in September. If it takes off, expect Hershey (NYSE: HSY ) , Cadbury Schweppes (NYSE: CSG ) , and Nestle to introduce their own heart-healthy bars. I can picture the commercials now: "Introducing Choco-mite, for artery-clearing gooey goodness!"
No doubt that would prove entertaining, and probably end up doing exactly nothing good for you or your portfolio, although I guess it could prove profitable to make chocolate a bit more "acceptable" to a niche group of health nuts who might otherwise curb their consumption.
But come on, do you really believe gulping down a handful of gooey chocolate each day is healthy for you? If so, you must be among the sedentary set who also believe in the McDonald's diet. Or in the benefits of mainlining caffeine at your local Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX ) .
But of course, I'm writing as though such warnings actually matter. They don't. And they certainly won't as far as my wife is concerned. This is best news she's ever heard. And that means I'm off to the local Wild Oats (Nasdaq: OATS ) . I've got candy to buy.
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers prefers Kit Kat over pretty much all other Halloween candy. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story at the time of publication. You can find out what's in his portfolio by checking Tim's Fool profile. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.