This time of year can be a battle for the health conscious, what with so many Christmas cookies, candy canes and hot cocoa varieties available on a daily basis. It can be heartbreaking to resist that bowl of Lindt chocolate truffles on your coworker’s desk, but the splurge probably isn’t worth it in the long run, right? Well, not so fast — being a chocoholic may not be all bad. A new study out of The University of Aberdeen published in the BMJ journal Heart shows a correlation between eating more chocolate and having a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 16: In this photo illustration, Hershey's chocolate bars are shown on July 16, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Hershey Co., the No.1 candy producer in the U.S., is raising the price of its chocolate by 8 percent due to the rising cost of cocoa. This is the company's fist price increase in three years. (Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

More than 21,000 people in England were analyzed for their eating and exercise habits, as well as lifestyle variables. Those who ate the most chocolate (16 to 100 grams per day, or about 1/2 to 3.5 oz.) had a 14 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 23 percent lower risk of stroke than those who ate less chocolate. There was also a correlation between more chocolate and a lower body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, inflammatory proteins and diabetes.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 29: A box of chocolates contains a piece decorated with a URL written in two-dimensional code on June 29, 2006 in Tokyo, Japan. The chocolate is co-developed by Mary Chocolate Co., Ltd and Nippon Comsys Corporation. Two-dimentional code is widely used in Japan by mobile phone users for reading the URL to access websites. Customers can have their own two-dimensional code or messages written on chocolate for gift-purposes, available at the price of 25,000 yen (US$220) for making the plate and 1050 yen (US$9) for a box of 12 pieces, with a minimum of 500 boxes for an order. (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

But take it all with a grain of salt (mmm… salted chocolate…). There are many, many variables that may come into play in a study like this. Dark and milk chocolate weren’t differentiated, for instance, and any of the other factors (like exercising regularly or having a lower BMI) could also be responsible for the lower risk of heart disease. So as usual, the disclaimer here is everything in moderation, down to how much you let studies influence your actions.

The main takeaway at this point is that you probably don’t need to avoid chocolate in the long run. “I think a little chocolate is okay for a reasonably healthy adult without major risk factors, or at least not too many of them,” the study’s author, Phyo Myint, told Forbes. So treat yo self to a square a day from that chocolate gift box you won at the office Christmas party — it might be better for you than you think.

(h/t Forbes; Photos via Scott Olson/Getty Images and Junko Kimura/Getty Images. Featured photo via Matt Cardy/Getty Images)