The Healthiest Option for Chocolate is Dark Chocolate, But Avoid Using it as Medication

Flavonoids, which are compounds rich in antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases as well as enhance mood and cognitive function, are found in cocoa powder. A lengthy research called the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) discovered that although cocoa supplements did not lower the risk of heart attacks, they did lower the number of deaths caused by heart disease.

The likelihood that a chocolate bar is high in flavonoids, low in sugar, and free of added fats increases with its shade. Since white chocolate is heavy in sugar and fat and lacks cocoa, it is the least healthful type.

The amount of chocolate that one would need to consume on a daily basis to reap the health benefits is unknown because commercial chocolate processing might remove flavonoids from cocoa.

Pure cocoa supplements were employed in the COSMOS trial. The study’s co-leader, JoAnn Manson, is a professor in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology. She stated in the article that eating 700 calories of dark chocolate a day would provide the same amount of flavonoids as the supplements.

Experts concurred that while occasional pieces of other chocolates and small daily servings of dark chocolate can be included in a balanced diet, chocolate itself shouldn’t be regarded as a health food.

“It would be a shame to turn chocolate into medicine when there are other acute pleasures that occur from its consumption, whether it triggers great memories or just reminds someone of a connection,” Eric Rimm, professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition, said in the article. Of the need for more long-term studies of chocolate, he added, “It’s a tough job, but I am happy to volunteer.”