Dieting or trying to lose weight often means giving up chocolate for a while. But for those of us who love eating chocolate, there is a good reason to keep on eating it.
University of Cambridge research published in the British Medical Journal in August 2011, found that chocolate may be associated with significant health benefits. Studies have already shown that dark chocolate has high levels of antioxidants which can help lower the chances of developing cancer or heart disease. But researchers have found that other types of chocolate including dark and milk chocolate, as well as chocolate drinks and chocolate confectionery, may also have beneficial effects on our health.
Researchers reviewed seven separate studies involving 114,000 patients and found that people who ate the most chocolate had a 37 percent lower risk of developing heart disease and 29 percent lower risk of suffering from a stroke than people who ate less chocolate.
However, this doesn’t mean the more chocolate we eat the healthier we’ll be. Unfortunately, the majority of chocolate is also high in fat, sugar and calories.
Dr Oscar Franco, the lead author of the study from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, said: “Chocolate may be beneficial, but it should be eaten in a moderate way, not in large quantities and not in binges.” If it is consumed in large quantities, any beneficial effect is going to disappear.”
So there’s no need to feel guilty eating chocolate if you’re on a diet. However, to avoid gaining weight from overdosing on fat and calories, try to keep your chocolate consumption within your recommended daily calorie guidelines. To find out what yours is, this post can help.