Most of us consider chocolate as a delicious treat from time to time, because we’ve been told time and time again it’s not great for our health. Well, it turns out that we may have been receiving some incorrect information! New research shows chocolate IS good for your health and can even lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Study co-author Prof. Saverio Stranges from the University of Warwick Medical School and colleagues publish their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition.
For their study, Prof. Stranges and colleagues analysed the chocolate consumption of 1,153 people aged 18-69. The team wanted to see whether chocolate intake is associated with insulin resistance – a condition that raises the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
They also assessed how chocolate consumption affected the liver.
The researchers found that 81.8 per cent of the study participants consumed chocolate, with an average consumption of 24.8 grams daily. That’s a lot of choccie!
But surprisingly, when compared with participants who did not eat chocolate every day, those who did were found to have reduced insulin resistance and improved liver enzyme levels. The effect was stronger the higher the chocolate consumption, the team reports.
Prof. Stranges and colleagues say their findings suggest that chocolate consumption may reduce the risk of developing issues down the track.
“Given the growing body of evidence, including our own study, cocoa-based products may represent an additional dietary recommendation to improve cardiometabolic health; however, observational results need to be supported by robust trial evidence”.
But before you grab that milk chocolate, Prof. Stranges clarifies that only chocolate that contains natural cocoa is beneficial.