Eating small amounts of dark chocolate on a daily basis could decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease,
according to a new study conducted by Luxembourg Institute of Health, the University of Warwick Medical School, the University of South Australia and the University of Maine.
During the study, 1,153 adults between the ages of 18 and 69 years old were analyzed. Participants who consumed the equivalent of one chocolate bar per day (100 grams) showed reduced insulin resistance and better liver enzymes.
“Given the growing body of evidence, including our own study, cocoa-based products may represent an additional dietary recommendation to improve cardio-metabolic health; however, observational results need to be supported by robust trial evidence,” said Saverio Stranges, Visiting Academic at the University of Warwick Medical School.
Applications for future use
Researchers concede that additional studies are needed to better understand the impact dark chocolate plays in cardiometabolic disorders and insulin resistance, but they also believe phytochemical-dense foods like tea, coffee and dark chocolate can be beneficial in staving off diabetes.
“Potential applications of this knowledge include recommendations by healthcare professionals to encourage individuals to consume a wide range of phytochemical-rich foods, which can include dark chocolate in moderate amounts,” said Stranges.
The study concluded by emphasizing the difference between natural cocoa products and processed chocolate. Because processed chocolate is an energy-dense food, exercise, a healthy diet and other positive lifestyle choices should be considered to balance out any potential gain in weight over time.
Source: University of Warwick