Chocolate Cake
A waitress poses with a cake decorated with a goat-shaped chocolate, which is painted with edible gold powder, to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, during a photo opportunity at a bakery of Kerry Hotel in Beijing, February 12, 2015. Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

One may eat an apple to keep the doctor away. However, if the doctor prescribes eating chocolates to stay healthy and fit, he/she will be more than welcome. A new study has revealed that consuming moderate amounts of chocolate is actually good for one’s heart and also keeps diabetes in check.

Scientific director of the Department of Population Health at the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) and visiting academic of the University of Warwick Medical School, United Kingdom, professor Saverio Stranges, and his colleagues analysed data of 1,153 people aged 18-69 years. They found out that those who ate 100 grams of chocolate every day, especially dark chocolate, had improved liver enzymes and insulin resistance. The researchers published their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition.

Insulin resistance is a major problem for those who have cardiovascular diseases. The researchers analysed a national sample of adults and included dietary and lifestyle factors and team and coffee consumption, reports The Times of India.

“Given the growing body of evidence, including our own study, cocoa-based products may represent an additional dietary recommendation to improve cardio-metabolic health; however, observational results need to be supported by robust trial evidence,” said Stranges.

The study also revealed that the people who consumed chocolate regularly were physically more active, younger and had higher levels of education than the ones who did not eat chocolates on a daily basis. As per the study, more than 80 percent of the respondents claimed to eat 24.8 grams of chocolate every day.

“It is also possible that chocolate consumption may represent an overall marker for a cluster of favourable socio-demographic profiles, healthier lifestyle behaviours and better health status,” Luxembourg Institute of Health’s Alaa Alkerwi explained.

Tea and coffee can be high in polyphenol and this substance may provide chocolate with its beneficial cardio-metabolic effects. Applications of this study would include recommendations from doctors and health experts to encourage people in consuming phytochemical-rich foods that include moderate amounts of dark chocolate.

However, the researchers warned that diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors should be properly balanced to avoid the ill effects of weight gain brought about by eating chocolates.