Although it can be tempting to eat an entire bar of chocolate, experts recommend that we consume it in moderation. Consuming a small amount of chocolate at regular intervals will not add to our waistlines or take away from other essential nutrients. According to New Jersey-based dietitian Lauren Harris-Pincus, author of “The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club,” a moderate amount of chocolate should be part of an overall healthy diet. Consuming small amounts of chocolate in moderation will help us maintain a healthy balance of calories.
Dark chocolate is high in flavonoids
There are a lot of flavonoids in dark chocolate, but how much should you eat? The amount varies widely depending on the study. Experts recommend that you consume moderate amounts of this delicious treat. The cocoa content of dark chocolate is around 70 percent, so the amount of sugar in a standard bar is less than half. Flavonoids have been linked to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, so you might want to try a small amount of dark chocolate before making the decision to eat it.
One recent study concluded that moderate dark chocolate consumption could help protect against cardiovascular disease. It was estimated that one would need to eat 12 large dark chocolate bars per day for one month to get the recommended amounts of flavonoids for a healthy heart. But if you’re not in a position to do that, chocolate can still be a delicious treat. Here’s why. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association looked at the flavonoid content of cocoa and chocolate.
It lowers cravings for other sweet or salty snacks
Chocolate contains drug-like substances that affect your mood. When you indulge in chocolate or other sweet or salty snacks, you’re giving yourself a “one-two punch” of serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter. But it can be dangerous to overindulge, not only because it makes you gain weight but also because you’re primed to binge on it.
When you’re hungry, your body craves fast carbohydrates. However, chocolate is high on the glycemic index, meaning it will only give you a sugar rush for a short time before leaving you feeling hungry again. Fortunately, you can fill your stomach with something else that won’t result in a sugar crash. Chocolate, and other sweet and salty snacks, are not necessarily bad for you in moderation.
It improves memory
A study recently conducted on aging and memory found that a moderate intake of chocolate can improve cognitive functions. In this study, participants were divided into two groups, those who consumed chocolate occasionally or not at all, and those who did not eat any chocolate. Each group underwent a battery of cognitive tests that assessed working memory, attention, and spatial memory. Researchers also analyzed the relationship between daily chocolate intake and cognitive performance. They noted that people who ate more chocolate daily performed better on memory tests.
During the study, subjects were given dark or white chocolate. The results indicated that consuming a daily portion of 70% cocoa dark chocolate improved verbal memory in healthy young adults. However, there was no difference in baseline data between the two groups. After completing the study, the authors calculated a mean and standard error for all outcome measures. Statistically significant results were found in Table 2 for the Treatment*Session ANOVA and the post hoc t-tests (p=0.033).
It reduces diabetes risk
According to recent studies, the consumption of chocolate may decrease the risk of developing diabetes. These findings are based on observational studies, which are not causal, but nonetheless show a relationship between chocolate consumption and diabetes risk. However, the study also found that eating chocolate does not affect the risk of developing diabetes in people older than 65 years of age. Nonetheless, eating chocolate can improve health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, including diabetes.
Among the studies that support the benefits of eating chocolate, the most compelling one involved a group of Luxembourg men. In fact, daily chocolate consumption was inversely related to insulin resistance and liver enzymes, according to the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study. For further information, you can visit Dr. Gourmet’s website, which offers a comprehensive list of diets that are best for different types of patients.