Researchers aren’t sure just how much you need eat in order to reduce the risk: some people they researched were eating 100 g a day, equivalent to a whole bar, but most were eating just a square or so, or 24.8 g (0.8 ounces).
When they looked at the lifestyles and diets of 1,153 people aged between 18 and 69, the chocolate-eaters had reduced insulin resistance and improved liver enzymes. Insulin resistance is seen as the stage before type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, and this can lead to heart disease.
Chocolate is high in polyphenols, and it’s these that could be having the beneficial effect, say the researchers from the Luxembourg Institute of Health. This means that drinking tea and coffee could also be helping insulin sensitivity.
It’s also important to differentiate between the natural product and processed chocolate. Physical activity, diet and other lifestyle factors play an important part if you are going to hit the chocolate, say the researchers.