I swear to God my daughter didn’t beg me to write this story: A new study shows that chocolate milk can reduce inflammation.
A small study done in Barcelona had 47 volunteers age 55 and older who were at risk for heart disease drink skim milk mixed with a sachet of soluble cocoa powder for four weeks, then switch to drinking plain skim milk. Researchers found that they had reduced markers for inflammation and higher levels of HDL “good” cholesterol after the chocolate milk regimen.
The high levels of flavonoids in cocoa are the reason for the improved cardiovascular indicators, researchers believe. But before we get our children all excited by by tossing out the white milk and breaking out the brown stuff, though, remember that most of the chocolate milk we can buy in a supermarket is a far cry from what the study subjects were drinking. Most supermarket chcoclate milk is loaded with HFCS, fake flavorings and who know what else, and is also made from whole milk. Even the great local dairy here that makes chocolate milk out of real cocoa and sugar uses so much of all of that, mixed into high fat milk, that it has the texture of a melted milkshake (ahhhh, so good). Delicious as an occasional treat or grocery store bribe? Whoa yeah. Health food? Sorry… But this study has something to make everyone happy, in my house at least. Because while the researchers saw benefits from drinking the cocoa flavored milk, it didn’t come close to my treat of choice — red wine. Long live science, my friends.