Chocolate lovers have more reasons to indulge in the sweet treat. Consuming small amounts of chocolate daily can lower the risks of diabetes and heart diseases, say a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
The study was conducted by Prof. Saverio Stranges from academic of the University of Warwick Medical School, United Kingdom, and scientific director of the Department of Population Health at the Luxembourg Institute of Health.
Dark chocolate has the high level of antioxidants, specifically flavonoids, which when consumed in moderate quantity may yield significant health benefits. The antioxidants can prevent some forms of cell damage.
Prof. Stranges and his colleagues in their study has analyzed 1,153 people aged 18-69, who consumed chocolate on regular basis and were linked to the Cardiovascular Risk. The data was gathered from 1,153 participants by making them fill up food frequency questionnaire. The team has observed if the chocolate consumption is linked to insulin resistance, to check if the body’s cells do not respond to insulin, increasing type 2 diabetes and heart disease risks. The study group has also analyzed on how consumption of chocolate affected the liver enzyme levels
The researchers have informed that 81.8 percent of participants were found to be consuming an average 24.8 grams of chocolate daily. And those who have consumed chocolate were found to have reduced insulin resistance and improved liver enzyme levels compared to those who did not consume it. The effect was higher in those who consumed good quantity of dark chocolates.
The study team have considered the participants age, sex, education, lifestyle, and dietary factors into consideration to analyze it. The dietary factors include tea, coffee consumption and linked the chocolate’s benefits for cardiometabolic risk. Prof. Stranges adds that processed chocolate is high in calories than the chocolate that contains natural cocoa.
Cardiometabolic risk is associated with person’s chances in developing diabetes, heart disease, or stroke.
According to the authors, participants who consumed chocolate were younger and physically active compared to those who did not consume it. They further said that chocolate consumption can lower the risks of cardiometabolic disorders by promoting liver enzyme levels and protecting against insulin resistance.
Prof. Stranges says, “Therefore, physical activity, diet and other lifestyle factors must be carefully balanced to avoid detrimental weight gain over time.”