We've heard it before, but new research has now definitely confirmed chocolate is good for you.
*Clears out fridge and replaces all food with chocolate-based goods.*
Awesome nerds at Brown University have figured out those brown, heavenly chunks benefit our heart, and its cocoa compound could be the key to reducing several factors linked to heart disease.
Report author Dr. Simin Liu, professor and director of the f, said,
Our meta-analysis of RCTs characterizes how cocoa flavanols affect cardiometabolic biomarkers, providing guidance in designing large, definitive prevention trials against diabetes and cardiovascular disease in future work [...] We found that cocoa flavanol intake may reduce dyslipidemia (elevated triglycerides), insulin resistance and systemic inflammation, which are all major subclinical risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases.
The study involved 19 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in which 1,139 volunteers were made to consume more flavanol-rich cocoa products as part of their diet.
Initial results found the cocoa to be beneficial to heart health. The report noted "small-to-modest but statistically significant improvements among those who ate flavanol-rich cocoa product vs those who did not."
Volunteers saw a reduction in blood glucose and insulin, as well as another indicator of insulin resistance called HOMA-IR.
Most intriguingly, however, was an increase in "good" cholesterol.
The report's authors used dark chocolate, and they said the same benefits would not be found in white or candy chocolate.
While the trial unearthed some good news, there were limitations. The research was not targeted to find out whether or not chocolate had a direct link to the reduction of heart attacks or type 2 diabetes.
Also, the trials were done in a short space of time and did not test for a long-lasting impact.
But, we don't need any excuses to stuff our faces with ALL THE HALLOWEEN TREATS*.
*We do not condone stealing chocolate from trick-or-treaters.