Benefits of Dark Chocolate for Diabetics

dark chocolate for diabetics

New study has Found More Benefits of Dark Chocolate for Diabetics

University of Hull and the Hull York Medical School have just reported on a study that show how dark chocolate for diabetics may help cholesterol levels. It looks like there  may be significant results for Type II diabetics. This dark chocolate for diabetics project was undertaken by the HONEI (Humber Obesity, Nutrition, Education, Innovation) Project and had twelve patients (seven males and five females) taking part in the study. Aged between 42-71 years and they all had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes based on World Health Organization guidelines.

Dark Chocolate for Diabetics ImprovesGood Cholesterol

According to the study published October 18th in Diabetic Medicine, HDL (high density lipoprotein) or ‘good’ cholesterol is improved and overall cholesterol balance is enhanced when patients consumed 45g of dark chocolate each day. This was not your typical dark chocolate, but a  high cocoa content dark chocolate, which usually means high flavanols.

First Dark Chocolate for Diabetics Study this Long

This is the first study to report on the effects of giving chocolate to individuals with Type 2 diabetes over a period of 16 weeks. The patients were given chocolate either with or without a high cocoa content. The dark chocolate contained 85% cocoa solids compared to the placebo which contained no cocoa solids but was dyed the same color as the dark chocolate. Individual 15g foil wrapped bars were provided and the volunteers were asked to consume one bar three times a day. The patients were advised not to consume any other chocolate for the duration of the study and they were instructed to make no changes to their diet and lifestyle.

Dark Chocolate Study was Blind

[pullquote]“People with Type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease and since one of the main contributory factors to heart disease is a low level of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol, the findings that dark chocolate can improve this, means the results of this study are hugely significant.”

Steve Atkin, Professor of Diabetes and Endocrinology[/pullquote]There was concern that subjects may have been able to tell the difference between the two preparations. Therefore, a blind taste study was undertaken prior to the trial that showed that the subjects could not tell any difference in appearance or taste between the high-polyphenol or low-polyphenol preparations, thus avoiding the bias of one could have been perceived better than the other.

Flavanols are generally believed to be the main polyphenol in dark chocolate. They are more present in darker chocolate and most especially so in cold processed dark chocolate.

Steve Atkin, who led the dark chocolate for diabetics study continues: “Chocolate with a high cocoa content should be included in the diet of individuals with Type 2 diabetes as part of a sensible, balanced approach to diet and lifestyle. This study demonstrates that it can offer a potential reduction in cardiovascular risk without detrimental risks on weight, insulin resistance or glycemic control.”

Dark Chocolate Replaced Other Snacks

Another side benefit that was raised during the chocolate diet recall, was that the dark chocolate tended to replace other snack foods. This could be another reason why high flavanol chocolate is good for a weight loss program. Dark chocolate for diabetics, but also for people just trying to lose weight.


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