Eat Dark Chocolate, Prevent Obesity!

darkchocolate

Dark chocolate’s benefits:
• Has flavanols which fight weight-gain and lower risk of diabetes
• Is also thought to improve concentration, decrease appetite, lower blood pressure and boost heart health

Dark chocolate has long been maligned as a source of weight gain. However, new research shows that it can help avoid obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

An antioxidant in cocoa, scientists have found, can prevent weight-gain and help lower blood sugar levels. According to them, there is also evidence to suggest eating dark chocolate can improve thinking, decrease appetite and lower blood pressure.

Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the latest study revealed that an antioxidant in cocoa not only prevents mice from gaining weight and but also lowered their blood sugar levels.

According to Dr Andrew Neilson and his colleagues, this is because the basic ingredient of chocolate, cocoa, is one of the most flavanol-rich foods available. What makes this good is that antioxidants – of which flavanols are one type – have been shown to help fight weight-gain and Type 2 diabetes.

However, cocoa contains many different flavanols and not all are equally beneficial. So, the research team set out to establish the individual health benefits of the different flavanols.

Groups of mice were fed different diets including high-fat and low-fat diets, and high-fat diets supplemented with different kinds of flavanols.
Adding one particular set of these compounds, known as oligomeric procyanidins (PCs), to the food made the biggest difference in keeping the mice’s weight down if they were on high-fat diets, the researchers found.

The process also improved glucose tolerance, which could potentially help prevent Type 2 diabetes.

The researchers noted: “Oligomeric PCs appear to possess the greatest anti-obesity and anti-diabetic bioactivities of the flavanols in cocoa, particularly at the low doses employed for the present study.”

By an interesting coincidence, scientists at Louisiana State University have independently released findings which show that dark chocolate can reduce blood pressure and improve heart health.

Researcher Maria Moore reported, “We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones. The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate. When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory.”

This naturally-forming anti-inflammatory element enters the bloodstream and helps protect the heart and arteries from damage.

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