I know you didn’t really need more of an excuse to eat chocolate, but I’m going to give it to you anyway.
A meta-analysis from Brown University has found a host of health effects from eating chocolate that stop the onset of scary words like “dyslipidemia”, insulin resistance and systemic inflammation which are apparently all major subclinical risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases. If you can say that sentence off the top of your head next time someone tries slapping some chocolate out of your hand they’ll be left with no recourse.
The study looked at the effects of flavanol-rich cocoa, in this case dark chocolate. The greatest effects were seen among trial volunteers who ate between 200 and 600 milligrams of flavanols a day (based on their cocoa consumption). They saw significant declines in blood glucose and insulin. They also saw an increase in HDL, or “good,” cholesterol.
Cocoa is naturally packed full of flavanol, but loses a chunk of it during processing. However, chocolate will still have a significant amount in it afterwards. The most common method most of us get our flavanol intake is through tea, certain fruits (apples, pears), and berries. Where you get your flavanols is fine, it all has the same effect.
The study authors point out that their study is limited and shouldn’t be generalised.
“The treatment groups of the trials included in our meta-analysis are primarily dark chocolate — a few were using cocoa powder-based beverages,” epidemiology graduate student and lead author Xiaochen Lin said. “Therefore, the findings from the current study apparently shouldn’t be generalized to different sorts of chocolate candies or white chocolates, of which the content of sugar/food additives could be substantially higher than that of the dark chocolate.”
If they’re ever looking for any more people to take part, I’m willing to eat more dark chocolate. I’ll be peeved if I’m in the placebo group though…