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Compounds in Chocolate Can Help Prevent Weight Gain & Type II Diabetes

Flavanol compounds in cocoa called oligomeric procyanidins (PCs) may help improve glucose tolerance and prevent obesity according to a recent study.

Flavanol compounds in cocoa called oligomeric procyanidins (PCs) may help improve glucose tolerance and prevent weight gain according to a recent study.

Are you a dark chocolate lover? This new report will make you love it even more! Because, just as cocoa, the plant from which chocolate is made, has been shown to be helpful in boosting your skin’s ability to fight UV radiation, lower blood pressure, and more, now a study shows that it can actually lower blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain.

The recent American Chemical Society’s report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry was done by separating out certain flavanols (a type of antioxidant) in cocoa and testing them individually. The scientists found that mice fed a high-fat diet that was supplemented with certain compounds called oligomeric procyanidins (PCs) were shown to have improved glucose tolerance and were less likely to gain weight. Therefore, these compounds in cocoa could very well help fight type 2 diabetes and obesity!

Now, before you go out and get just any kind of chocolate, keep in mind that the above study was done using flavanols from cocoa and many other studies have been done using raw cocoa powder without any additives, such as milk or sugar. So, when shopping for cocoa powder, look for one that is raw, minimally processed, and certified organic, such as Navitas Naturals Organic Raw Cacao Powder.  And when selecting dark chocolate, go for something with a minimum 70% cacao content that is organic, GMO-free, low in sugar, and not processed with alkali, which reduces the flavanol content. Another thing to consider is whether it’s Fair Trade or not.

By the way, one of my favorite ways to use cocoa powder is by adding it to my smoothies or sprinkling some on top of granola. Have you used it? If so, what are some of your preferred ways of using this antioxidant-rich powder? What about dark chocolate? Please share any of your best-loved recipes!

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Copyright © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2014. All rights reserved.
Photos © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2014.

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