The dark truth about chocolate

By Drum Digital
23 April 2014

Chocolate is usually viewed as a guilty pleasure. But researchers now suggest dark chocolate could actually prevent obesity. Read the good news here.

When we think of chocolate, we tend to think of it as a sweet treat. But researchers now suggest dark chocolate could actually prevent obesity.

The UK’s Daily Mail recently reported on a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry which found that an antioxidant in cocoa can prevent mice from gaining weight. It also lowered their blood sugar levels. Dark chocolate contains a higher concentration of cacao seeds than milk chocolate, so it’s a healthier option.

But dietician Nicole Sacks warns it’s dangerous to say that eating dark chocolate can prevent obesity and type two diabetes because dark chocolate still contains sugar and fat and eating lots of it causes weight gain.

“Dark chocolate does contain antioxidants, which makes it a healthier option than white or regular chocolate,” she says. “I allow my patients two squares of dark chocolate a day as a treat but that’s it. Dark chocolate is also quite rich so you’re less likely to eat too much of it and it does satisfy a chocolate craving.”

Some of the other reported benefits of dark chocolate:

  • It can help control blood sugar levels.
  • It can improve blood flow and might help prevent the formation of blood clots.
  • It helps decrease the chances of getting cavities but you still have to take care of your teeth.
  • It contains iron which helps prevent iron deficiency.
  • It stimulates chemicals in the brain that make you happy, which means chocolate can improve your mood.

- Katlego Mkhwanazi


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