I’ve reported before about the benefits of dark chocolate for brain and heart health. And now a new study suggests that this sweet treat also reduces the risk of diabetes.
Researchers recruited more than 950 people with an average age of 62. They discovered that the participants who frequently ate chocolate throughout their lives not only had fewer diagnoses of diabetes, but were also less likely to develop the disease even three decades into the future.1
The study participants who rarely or never ate chocolate had a significantly higher risk of diabetes compared with those who ate chocolate more than once a week. And the researchers noted that this was true even after taking into account cardiovascular, dietary, and lifestyle factors.
The researchers also examined the connection between chocolate consumption and developing diabetes up to 30 years later, and concluded that more chocolate was associated with less diabetes.
Of course, we are talking about eating dark chocolate, without the added sugars and ingredients of so-called “milk chocolate.” Look for varieties that contain 80-90% cacao. You may also want to try one of the new chocolate bars that combines dark chocolate with other healthful and tasty ingredients, such as blueberries or hot chili peppers. (For more about the benefits of chilies, see page 5.)
If the taste of high concentrations of cacao is a bit strong for you at first, don’t worry — and don’t give up! Other studies have shown you can get used to it. The brief adjustment period is worth it for the significant, long-term health benefits you gain in return. And then you can still have your chocolate and eat it too.
“Habitual Chocolate Intake and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in the Maine-Syracuse Longitudinal Study.” Appetite (01/17) Vol. 108, P. 263.