News: Cocoa can help fight against obesity-related diseases

If you love chocolate but you’ve been avoiding it because of your diet, a new study might tempt you to

cocoapowder

If you love chocolate but you’ve been avoiding it because of your diet, a new study might tempt you to indulge.

The study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, compared two groups of mice on the same high-fat diet.

One group was given cocoa supplements, which researchers found improved obesity-related inflammation, insulin resistance, and fatty liver disease, compared to the group that wasn’t given cocoa.

"Most obesity researchers tend to steer clear of chocolate because it is high in fat, high in sugar and is usually considered an indulgence," Joshua Lambert, associate professor of food science at Penn State University, told Digital Journal. “However, cocoa powder is low in fat and low in sugar.”

He also compared cocoa to green tea and wine, because of it’s polyphenolic compounds. Both green tea and wine have been proven to have many health benefits, such as fighting heart disease and boosting immune function.

It’s important to remember that there’s a difference between cocoa and chocolate, however.

Stocking up on your favourite chocolate bars won’t do anything to improve your health (unless they are unprocessed, dark chocolate). Instead, use cocoa in recipes to reap the benefits and still get the chocolaty taste you crave.

Tempted? Here are some healthy ways to enjoy cocoa:

Chocolate Blueberry Smoothie with Kale
Chocolate Almond Smoothie
Chocolate-Avocado Brownies
Dairy-Free Chocolate Birthday Cake

-Katharine Watts, associate web editor

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