Consumption of dark chocolate in small amounts on the daily basis can help in building insulin resistance and preventing type2-diabetes. However, dark chocolate is beneficial for health if consumed only in limited amounts. Compared to other chocolates, dark chocolate has more antioxidants, which help in boosting the immune system and prevent cell damage, while even keeping cancer at bay.
A study carried out on 1,153 people in the age group of 18 to 69 years, who belonged to the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk in Luxembourg (ORISCAV-LUX), found that people who consumed 100g of dark chocolate a day had better liver enzymes, along with higher insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is found to be linked with heart diseases, and hence dark chocolate would also help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular ailments. The research was carried out by the University of Warwick Medical School, along with the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), the University of Maine and University of South Australia in April this year.
The researchers collected data pertaining to dietary factors, including tea and coffee intake, and lifestyle of the study group. Tea and coffee consist of antioxidants and lower the cardiometabolic risk, just the way chocolate does.
Cardiometabolic risk refers to a person's chances of developing cardiovascular ailments or diabetes. The authors of the study found that participants who consume chocolate look younger and are more active.
Prof. Saverio Stranges, the co-author of the study, along with his team concluded that chocolate may help in lowering the chances of generating cardiometabolic risk, battling insulin resistance, cardiovascular risk and improving the liver enzymes.
"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," Stranges said.
"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," he concluded.