Study suggests chocolate can lower cholesterol among diabetics

Added 18/10/2010

Stethoscope on a book

A recent study has suggested that chocolate that is high in cocoa solids could actually help to lower cholesterol among diabetics. However, Diabetes UK believes that the effect of the fat and sugar found in chocolate could outweigh the benefits on cholesterol levels.

The study was conducted on 12 diabetics that suffer from type 2 diabetes. They were monitored for 16 weeks and the results showed that the chocolate helped to lower cholesterol. High cholesterol can lead to other problems in diabetics, such as heart disease, so the results were encouraging.

Professor Steve Atkin, the brains behind the study, suggests that diabetics should enjoy chocolate that is rich in cocoa solids as a part of a healthy, active lifestyle. But some are worried that the results of the study will encourage people to eat too much chocolate, which could have a detrimental effect on people’s health due to the high levels of fat and sugar found in chocolate.

The study was only conducted on 12 individuals. Although the participants responded well to the study, more people should have been tested to get a better overall impression of the effects of eating high cocoa chocolate.

Iain Frame at Diabetes UK commented on the study: ‘On no account should people take away the message from this study, conducted in only 12 people, that eating even a small amount of dark chocolate is going to help reduce their cholesterol levels. The tiny health benefit of this compound found in cocoa-rich chocolate would be hugely outweighed by the fat and sugar content. The design of the study is also somewhat unrealistic as they asked participants to eat only around half the size of a normal, dark chocolate bar every day for eight weeks.’

If you have diabetes and you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, contact your GP before making any drastic changes to your diet.

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