The health benefits of chocolate - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

WNCN News

The health benefits of chocolate

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

It's Christmas Day and that means lots of chocolate will be consumed by kids and adults alike.  As we know, chocolate contains sugars and lots of calories. New research tells us some surprising new information. 

New research indicates that chocolate may actually help you lose weight and maintain a healthier lifestyle. In fact, chocolate contains many substances that can improve your heart health.

Chocolate contains lots of substances called polyphenols which are important antioxidants.  These antioxidants can help prevent the oxidation of "bad" cholesterol (which makes it less likely to form plaques in the heart arteries). 

Chocolate can also lower blood pressure and reduce risk for heart disease. Red wine, which is also good for the heart, contains similar substances and who doesn't like a glass of wine with chocolate? 

Antioxidants are also known to protect against cancer. A Harvard study showed that in men over 65, chocolate consumption was associated with a longer life span. 

There may be a catch, though - as with most things, not all chocolate is created equal. It is important to choose a chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa. If the first ingredient is sugar, it is not a good choice and does not have the same health benefits as the 70 percent cocoa.

Avoid Dutch processed chocolate as this removes all of the antioxidant properties—also look for organic and fair trade—these have no pesticides or fillers and are much healthier.

A new report from a study in the UK shows that the consumption of chocolate is associated with better weight loss. Those whose diet included chocolate did much better than those who did not. The study did not look at causation but simply reported an association.

In the study, patients were studied –weight loss measured and two groups were formed—one had a small taste of chocolate every day and the other group did not. 

In the study, nearly 85 percent of those that continued some chocolate intake during their diet actually lost weight. 

This is likely due to the fact that diets that are focused on elimination are doomed to fail. Previous research has shown that dieters who completely eliminate treats such as chocolate, wine and sweets are often more likely to put on weight as they ‘compensate' by eating more of other foods.

For more information, check out the video above.

  • NewsMore>>

  • RTP researchers working on Ebola vaccines

    RTP researchers working on Ebola vaccines

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:08 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:08:06 GMT
    North Carolina researchers are leading the charge in creating a vaccine for the Ebola virus.
    North Carolina researchers are leading the charge in creating a vaccine for the Ebola virus.
  • Ebola survivor: 'I felt like I was going to die'

    Ebola survivor: 'I felt like I was going to die'

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:07 PM EDT2014-09-03 01:07:12 GMT
    In the interview, Dr. Kent Brantly said he feared his own death, telling a nurse at one point: "I'm sick. I have no reserve and I don't know how long I can keep this up."In the interview, Dr. Kent Brantly said he feared his own death, telling a nurse at one point: "I'm sick. I have no reserve and I don't know how long I can keep this up."
    A U.S. doctor who survived after contracting Ebola while doing missionary work in Liberia is "very close" to the doctor most recently diagnosed with the disease and has spent time in "tearful prayer" for him, according to an interview with NBC News aired Tuesday.
    A U.S. doctor who survived after contracting Ebola while doing missionary work in Liberia is "very close" to the doctor most recently diagnosed with the disease and has spent time in "tearful prayer" for him, according to an interview with NBC News aired Tuesday.
  • 2 NC men's convictions overturned in 1983 killing

    2 NC men's convictions overturned in 1983 killing

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:37 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:37:35 GMT
    North Carolina judge overturns convictions of 2 men in 1983 murder of 11-year-old girl, orders release.Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
    North Carolina judge overturns convictions of 2 men in 1983 murder of 11-year-old girl, orders release.Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
  • Health with Dr. CampbellMore>>

  • Dr. Campbell: Managing Peanut Allergies in School

    Dr. Campbell: Managing Peanut Allergies in School

    Monday, September 1 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-09-01 09:00:16 GMT
    Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affect an estimated four to six percent of children in the United States.
    Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affect an estimated four to six percent of children in the United States.
  • Dr. Campbell: Backpack safety

    Dr. Campbell: Backpack safety

    Monday, August 25 2014 5:00 AM EDT2014-08-25 09:00:15 GMT
    As Students in our area go back to school, most will purchase a new backpack in order to carry essentials to and from school. It’s important to talk about keeping kids safe ---backpacks can result in back injury, but there are strategies to help you and your student pick the right type of backpack and use it properly, avoiding serious injury.
    As Students in our area go back to school, most will purchase a new backpack in order to carry essentials to and from school. It’s important to talk about keeping kids safe ---backpacks can result in back injury, but there are strategies to help you and your student pick the right type of backpack and use it properly, avoiding serious injury.
  • Dr. Campbell: Robin Williams' death sheds light on depression

    Dr. Campbell: Robin Williams' death sheds light on depression

    Friday, August 15 2014 10:33 AM EDT2014-08-15 14:33:03 GMT
    Depression and bi-polar disorder are common ailments in the United States, Dr. Kevin Campbell said Thursday, after the death of star Robin Williams.
    Depression and bi-polar disorder are common ailments in the United States, Dr. Kevin Campbell said Thursday, after the death of star Robin Williams.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.