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Fat In Chocolate: Scientists Cut Fat In Half With Fruit Juice (PHOTO)

08/15/2012 03:58 EDT | Updated 11/22/2013 04:07 EST
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It's the piece of candy we've all been waiting for: Chocolate with half the fat that still tastes just as delicious.

Scientists at the University of Warwick in the U.K. have successfully found a way to replace up to 50 per cent of chocolate's fat content by injecting it with fruit juice.

Chemists removed cocoa butter and milk fats (yes, the part of the chocolate that makes it taste so good) from milk, dark and white chocolate and substituted it with droplets of orange and cranberry juice.

"Everyone loves chocolate -- but unfortunately we all know that many chocolate bars are high in fat," Dr. Stefan Bon, the study's lead author, said in a press release. "We've found a way to maintain all of those things that make chocolate 'chocolatey' but with fruit juice instead of fat."

And don't worry, this particular piece of chocolate will still melt in your mouth. Using a technique called the Pickering emulsion, scientists were able to keep a chocolate bar's Polymorph V content -- the part of chocolate's fat that gives it a glossy look and the ability to bend, snap and melt in our mouths.

LOOK: Fruit juice infused chocolate with 50 per cent less fat: fruit chocolate no fat

Even though most people avoid chocolate when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight (or at least try to), some studies have shown that a small piece a day can't hurt. Dark chocolate has been found to lower bad cholesterols and blood sugar levels, while another study suggests people who eat the sweet stuff may also have a lower body mass index, according to the Archives of Internal Medicine. And just recently, one study has found that eating chocolate with flavanol can help people with mild cognitive impairment.

But the chocolaty experiment did result in one downfall: The chocolates had a little bit more of a fruity flavour.

Not digging fruity chocolate? Here are 10 other health benefits of eating small amounts of your favourite chocolate:

  • It Reduces Stroke Risk
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    A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams of the sweet stuff.
  • It Boosts Heart Health
    Matija Puhek/500px
    Regular chocolate eaters welcome a host of benefits for their hearts, including lower blood pressure, lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease. One of the reasons dark chocolate is especially heart-healthy is its inflammation-fighting properties, which reduce cardiovascular risk.
  • It Fills You Up
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    Because it's rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you'll eat less, Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center and HuffPost blogger told The Huffington Post. Regular chocolate eaters might do themselves a favor by treating themselves to a bite instead of snacking on "11 other things first" he said. Dark chocolate does the trick much better than milk, according to a small study from the University of Copenhagen, and may even reduce cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.
  • It May Fight Diabetes
    Julie Thompson
    A small Italian study from 2005 found that regularly eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing risk for diabetes.
  • It Protects Your Skin
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    Forget what you've heard about chocolate causing breakouts: Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. The type of antioxidants called flavonoids found in dark chocolate offer some protection from UV damage from the sun. And no, that does not mean you can skip the sunscreen!
  • It Can Quiet Coughs
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    Can't stop coughing? An ingredient in chocolate called theobromine seems to reduce activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that triggers hard-to-shake coughs. In late 2010, the BBC reported that scientists were investigating creating a drug containing theobromine to preplace cough syrups containing codeine, which can have risky side effects.
  • It Boosts Your Mood
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    There's no denying that indulging your sweet tooth every once in a while feels great. Enjoying food is part of enjoying life, points out HuffPost Healthy Living's wellness editor, Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald. Chocolate eaters also report feeling less stressed.
  • It Improves Blood Flow
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    Cocoa has anti-clotting, blood-thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin, Dr. Fitzgerald writes, which can improve blood flow and circulation.
  • It Improves Vision
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    Because of chocolate's ability to improve blood flow, in particular to the brain, researchers at the University of Reading hypothesized in a small 2011 study that chocolate may also increase blood flow to the retina, thereby giving vision a boost.
  • It May Make You Smarter
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    That boost of blood flow to the brain created by cocoa's flavanols seems to make people feel more awake and alert, and, in a small British study, perform better on counting tasks.