Chocolate 'has health benefits'. I knew it!
Eating dark chocolate could help control diabetes and blood pressure, Italian experts say. Researchers found eating 100g of dark chocolate each day for 15 days lowered blood pressure in the 15 person-study. The University of L'Aquila team also found the body's ability to metabolise sugar - a problem for people with diabetes - was improved. But eating the same quantities of white chocolate did not have an effect, the researchers said. The team said an antioxidant called flavanol was responsible for the effect because it neutralised potentially cell-damaging substances known as oxygen-free radicals, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported.
But despite the benefits of dark chocolate, lead researcher Dr Claudio Ferri said people should be careful about chocolate consumption. "Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, but also a lot of fat and calories. People who want to add some chocolate to their diet need to subtract an equivalents amount of calories by cutting back on other foods to avoid weight gain."
Lindt Excellence 70% cocoa chocolate anyone?