Small amount of dark chocolate each day could carry health benefits

New research has suggested that eating a small amount of dark chocolate each day could help you reduce your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Out of all chocolates, none have a higher cocoa content than dark chocolate does, or higher levels of flavonoids, which are molecules that can prevent cells being damaged.
The study in Luxembourg was to examine if there was a link between the consumption of chocolate and insulin resistance or liver function.
Data for 1,153 people, between the ages of 18 and 69 years, was analysed by the research team. Each of the participants answered a questionnaire to give details about their consumption of chocolate, with 81.8 per cent of them eating chocolate, at an average consumption of 24.8 grams per person each day.
Those people who consumed 100g of chocolate (equivalent to one bar of chocolate), were found to have decreased insulin resistance, and improved liver enzymes. The higher the chocolate consumption was, the stronger these effects were on the individual.
The participants who ate the most chocolate were found to be younger and more physically active, but the research team found that the effects were still true when factors such as age, gender, lifestyle, diet and education were taken into account.
Professor Saverio Stranges, of the Luxembourg Institute of Health, said: “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,” he continued, adding that “it is important to differentiate between the natural product cocoa and the processed product chocolate.”
The study was published in British Journal of Nutrition.

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