Chocolate can reduce our insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes, and improve our memory. What we need from the chocolate are the nutrients called flavanols, as I wrote at Cocoa Can Help Prevent Type 3 Diabetes.
My article reviewed some exciting new research, the full text of which is free online at “Cocoa flavanol consumption.” This was a high-quality study, one that was randomized and double-blind and included 90 people who for eight weeks consumed either 48 mg, 520 mg, or 993 mg of flavanols in a drink. Those people in the intermediate and high intake groups showed clear improvements in insulin resistance, memory, as well as in blood pressure and lipid profiles.
But not just any chocolate bar or drink just any cocoa will give us a decent level of flavanols. The problem is that how much good nutrition we get when we eat different chocolates varies tremendously.
Dutch-processed chocolate is much lower in flavanols than natural-processed chocolate. And even among the brands of natural cocoa, great differences in the amount of flavanols exist, and few of the products show how many milligrams of flavanol they contain.
Two brands of cocoa, however, do show the amount of flavanols they have, and they each have a lot. CocoaVia, produced by Mars Botanical, the scientific division of the giant candy company Mars Inc., comes in several forms. CocoaWell, produced by Reserveage Nutrition, also comes in several forms. The difference between these brands is that some of the cocoa-like flavanols in CocoaWell are contributed by other flavanol-containing ingredients while CocoaVia is made from a cocoa extract.
So far, I have been using only the CocoaVia products, because the flavanols in cocoa are a proven source. But I will switch to CocoaWell, because it is organic and CocoaVia is not. It takes a lot of pesticides to grow cocoa, and I don’t like to eat poison.
This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.
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