What’s So Good About Dark Chocolate for Diabetics

One of the most promising areas related to the healing properties of chocolate is dark chocolate for diabetics. Especially Type II diabetes, since complications of the disease affect not only the heart, but blood vessels, nerves, kidneys and eyes.

Not any kind is good dark chocolate for diabetics

A recent study done by Italian researchers suggests that flavonols present in chocolate can protect the cardiovascular system and can improve the utilization of insulin in diabetic patients. The findings indicate that flavonols can lower blood pressure and lower overall blood fat levels. The researchers stated, “Our findings support a potentially beneficial action of chocolate flavonols on blood pressure, vaso-relaxation and insulin sensitivity, and suggest further research in this area.”

High blood sugar causes all of the serious side effects of diabetes. So no every chocolate is good chocolate for diabetics. You must find a high flavonol dark chocolate for diabetics. Flavonols are killed in the roasting and/or alkalization process of making chocolate.  This study shows that cocoa flavonoids make the body more sensitive to insulin (or decrease insulin resistance), thus reducing blood sugar levels. Also it must have low glycemic sugars for it to be chocolate for diabetics.

Other recent research supports these findings. A Japanese study had researchers find that consumption of cocoa liquer lowered blood sugar levels in diabetic and overweight mice. The result prompted the researchers to state, “The dietary intake of food or drinks produced from cacao beans might be beneficial in preventing the onset of Type II diabetes mellitus.” The cocoa liqueur used was high in flavonol.

Flavonol Epicatechin may be the key to good dark chocolate for diabetics

Many studies on health benefits of dark chocolate have been linked to the content of the flavonoid Epicatechin in cocoa.  Dr. N. Hollenberg of Harvard Medical School says Epicatechin can reduce the risk of four major health problems: stroke, heart failure, cancer and diabetes. So it can be good to have chocolate for diabetics! He studied the Kuna people of Panama, who consume a diet high in cocoa, and subsequently do not generally develop high blood pressure. His findings engendered his belief that Epicatechin is essential to our diet and should be classified as a vitamin.

As  mentioned, research suggests that cocoa can help stabilize blood sugar levels, assist with weight control and improve insulin resistance, all of which improves the outcome for diabetics. So, if you get the right chocolate, it looks like it is good to have dark chocolate for diabetics.



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