That title goes to Switzerland, the motherland of chocolate giants such as Lindt and Toblerone. The Swiss are expected to binge on around 9. Read More Why are chocolate prices jumping? Austria and Germany tie at second place with both countries consuming 8 kg of chocolate per capita. By comparison, Americans are almost on a diet, ranking 20th at 4.
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Meanwhile in Asia, where chocolate has not traditionally been the sweet of choice, people in China will eat just grams of chocolate each this year, while Indians will eat only grams, Euromonitor estimates. It isn't certain whether Asia's chocoholics will catch up to Europe or the U. Read More I get paid to be a chocolate taster. Many in the region find chocolate too sweet or "heaty," a reference to traditional Chinese medicine's belief that such foods can cause physical symptoms, such as sore throats.
5 Joyful Guidelines to Eating Dark Chocolate Every Day
Asia also presents another challenge for chocolatiers in the region: the weather. Humidity and heat can hurt the quality of chocolate, and poor infrastructure in many areas means refrigeration can be spotty. Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox.
Inflammation is part of the body's natural immune response to germs and other harmful substances. However, chronic inflammation can damage cells and tissues and may increase the risk of some health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, arthritis , and certain types of cancer. Dark chocolate contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body. A small pilot study from involving five healthy people examined the effects of dark chocolate on the immune system. The results suggested that consuming large amounts of percent dark chocolate affects the activity of genes that regulate the immune response.
However, it remains unclear how this study will be of practical significance. In another study from , researchers found that eating 30 g of percent dark chocolate each day for 8 weeks significantly reduced inflammatory biomarkers in people with type 2 diabetes. The authors of the study concluded that there is a need for additional studies to evaluate the optimal amounts of dark chocolate to use to treat those with diabetes. Insulin resistance occurs when the body's cells stop responding to the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance can cause abnormally high levels of blood glucose, which can lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
A 6-month study from examined the relationship between regular dark chocolate consumption and blood glucose levels among Hispanic individuals. The research findings suggest that eating 2 g of percent dark chocolate each day may help lower fasting glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance. Eating dark chocolate may improve brain function and help prevent neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
The findings of a small study suggest that the flavanols present in dark chocolate may enhance neuroplasticity, which is the brain's ability to reorganize itself, particularly in response to injury and disease. A study from identified a positive association between regular chocolate consumption and cognitive performance. However, the researchers collected data from surveys and had to rely on self-reported chocolate intake, so they were unable to draw any definitive conclusions from the findings.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture , a g bar of dark chocolate with 70—85 percent cocoa solids provides:. The health benefits of dark chocolate come primarily from the flavanols present in the cacao solids. However, flavanol content varies among dark chocolate products. Processing methods also differ between manufacturers, and this can affect the flavanol content of the chocolate. There is no legal requirement for chocolate manufacturers to report the flavanol content in their products.
However, dark chocolate products with a higher percentage of cacao solids should generally contain more flavanols.
Although dark chocolate contains beneficial antioxidants and minerals, it is usually also high in sugar and fat, which makes it a very calorie-dense food. Dark chocolate contains fat in the form of cocoa butter, which mainly consists of unhealthful saturated fats. People should, therefore, try to limit their consumption of dark chocolate to avoid consuming too many calories, fats, and sugars.
In general, dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate and white chocolate. Dark chocolate with higher percentages of cacao solids typically contains even less sugar. Sugar content varies among chocolate manufacturers, so it is advisable to check the nutrition label. Chocolate manufacturers do not have to report the flavanol content of their products. As a result, it is difficult to know how much dark chocolate a person would need to eat to maximize its health benefits. The studies in this article generally used 20—30 g of dark chocolate per day. Dark chocolate with higher percentages of cacao solids typically contains less sugar but more fat.
More cacao also means more flavanols, so it is best to choose dark chocolate that includes at least 70 percent cacao solids.
5 Joyful Guidelines if I Eat Dark Chocolate Every Day
Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and minerals, and it generally contains less sugar than milk chocolate. Some research suggests that dark chocolate may help lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, and improve brain function. People who are interested in adding dark chocolate to their diet should keep in mind that it is high in fat and calories, so moderation is key.
Article last reviewed by Tue 19 March All references are available in the References tab. Antioxidants: In depth. Berk, L.
Crichton, G. Jafarirad, S. Dark chocolate effect on serum adiponectin, biochemical and inflammatory parameters in diabetic patients: A randomized clinical trial. We do know that flavanols in cocoa beans, an ingredient in chocolate, are antioxidants , meaning that they may reduce damage to cells. Damaged cells can lead to cancer development. Regardless, the studies have come back with mixed results.
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Some report that eating chocolate may lower the risk of certain cancers, while others show no benefit, and still others show that eating chocolate increases cancer risk. There is stronger evidence suggesting that eating chocolate may help prevent heart disease. Flavanols have been shown to lower blood pressure and make your heart, veins, and arteries work better. What does this mean for you and your dessert choices?
How Much Dark Chocolate Per Day is Good for You?
It might give your heart some benefit, and it generally has less sugar and saturated fat than milk chocolate or other kinds of chocolate. However, dark chocolate is still candy, and it still has extra calories, sugar, and fat.
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Eat it sparingly.