I often hear comments from many people that diabetics cannot have chocolate. While it is true that they should not have candy with chocolate in it they can have chocolate. Remember that candy with chocolate in it is laced with fillers and refined white sugars, the ‘bad’ chocolate.
The ‘good chocolate’, gourmet healthy chocolates are just what the doctor may order to help diabetics. In the Journal of Diabetic Medicine one study shows the difference between the good chocolate with high polyphenols (high flavanoids or plant based antioxidants) and bad chocolate with low polyphenols.
This study reported was the first of it’s kind with diabetics. According to the University of Hull: “Twelve individuals with Type 2 diabetes were selected and those who participated were on stable medication. They were given 45gr of dark chocolate to eat daily for 16 weeks in a double blind study.
The patients were given chocolate either with or without a high cocoa content. The dark chocolate contained 85% cocoa solids compared to the placebo which contained no cocoa solids but was dyed the same colour as the dark chocolate. Individual 15g foil wrapped bars were provided and the volunteers were asked to consume one bar three times a day. The patients were advised not to consume any other chocolate for the duration of the study and they were instructed to make no changes to their diet and lifestyle.”
After the 16 week study there were significant increases to their HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) prompting comments from endocrine specialists advising diabetics to make a high polyphenonl (high flavanol) dark chocolate part of their daily dietary intake. In the Hull University article Steve Atkin, Professor of Diabetes and Endocrinology, who led the study says: “People with Type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease and since one of the main contributory factors to heart disease is a low level of HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol, the findings that dark chocolate can improve this, means the results of this study are hugely significant.”
The conclusion in the study as reported in the Journal of Diabetic Medicine states, “High polyphenol chocolate is effective in improving the atherosclerotic cholesterol profile in patients with diabetes by increasing HDL cholesterol and improving the cholesterol:HDL ratio without affecting weight, inflammatory markers, insulin resistance or glycaemic control.”
High flavanol raw dark chocolate is helping to keep blood sugars stable and could possible even prevent diabetes. Dark chocolate is good for Diabetics and allowing them to enjoy their favorite confection as long as they select the right type.