Many people claim that eating chocolate can cause weight gain. However, new research suggests that chocolate might be able to prevent obesity and diabetes type 2. But, the only chocolate that could have such results is dark chocolate.
According to scientists, cocoa contains antioxidants that might be able to reduce blood sugar levels and prevent excessive weight gain. Some evidence even suggests that consuming dark chocolate can decrease appetite and improve thinking.
Supported by Studies
According to a study issued in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, an antioxidant in cocoa helped prevent mice from gaining an excessive amount of weight and even managed to decrease their blood sugar levels.
Dr. Andrew Neilson claims that the reason is cocoa. Cocoa is the main ingredient in chocolate, which makes it one of the richest food in flavanol. As a result, these antioxidants can help prevent type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
However, not all flavanols and cocoa are equally beneficial. Therefore, the scientists tried to establish an individual health benefit of all the diverse flavanols. At first, they fed a different group of mice with different diets.
In fact, there were 3 kinds of diet:
- High-fat supplemented with various kinds of flavanols.
The scientists concluded that adding a specific set of these compounds, also known as PCs, to their meals, made a huge difference in keeping the mice’s weight low, especially if they were on high-fat meals.
Furthermore, they were able to improve the mice’s glucose tolerance, which in turn could prove useful for preventing T2D. The PCs have potent anti-diabetic and anti-obesity bioactive compounds.
This makes cocoa, probably, one of the most important foods for preventing diabetes.
Flavanols in Chocolate
Flavanols are a type of antioxidant that can help reduce blood sugar levels. Furthermore, they might prevent excessive weight gain, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce blood pressure.
According to researchers, dark chocolate is good for our health because of the way that the guts ferment the fiber in cocoa beans. A scientist Maria Moore said that there are 2 kinds of microbes in the gut, the bad and the good ones.
The good ones like the lactic bacteria acid and Bifidobacterium feed on chocolate. Therefore, when we eat dark chocolate, the good microbes in the gut ferment the food and produce important anti-inflammatory compounds.
This natural formation of anti-inflammatory compounds enters the bloodstream and prevents artery damage and boosts cardiovascular health.
How to Pick the Right Chocolate?
To pick the right chocolate, select the one that contains the higher percentage of cacao and the lowest content of sugar. In other words, the more cocoa it contains, the better. We recommend consuming raw cacao.
But, if we want to eat chocolate, the darker the chocolate, the better. All the flavanols in dark chocolate make it bitter. As a result, many manufacturers remove them completely. However, these flavanols are what we need to boost your health.
So, we suggest picking chocolate that is 70% or more cacao/cocoa. For those who think they can tolerate the raw taste of cacao, we absolutely recommend consuming it.
What About ‘Diabetic’ Chocolate?
For those who are wondering if they should consume ‘diabetic’ chocolate, the answer is no. This is why:
- This chocolate contains sweeteners such as sorbitol or fructose that might have a negative effect on blood sugar levels;
- It contains the same amount of fat as regular chocolate –trans and saturated fat;
- A powerful laxative effect that might make us feel uncomfortable;
- It contains more calories than regular chocolate;
- Very expensive chocolate.