Friday, February 26, 2016

So, Does Eating Chocolate Make You Skinnier?

By now I’m sure most media-savvy people have heard about the health benefits of chocolate, especially the new studies that report that chocolate might help people stay thin. These announcements obviously have a lot of people excited. It’s like saying, “Hey! Dessert makes you healthy!” But of course, there’s a catch to this revelation.

The catch is, basically, that you can’t just eat tons of chocolate and get skinny. Even though it’s pretty obvious, it’s still kind of a bummer, right?

A study was done by Dr. Beatrice Golomb, who is an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, in San Diego. Dr. Golomb surveyed over 1000 adults and those that reported eating chocolate more frequently had lower body mass indexes (BMI).  The lower BMI group didn’t necessarily report eating fewer calories or exercising more, although the entire sample size reported some exercise during the week.

Dr. Golomb hypothesizes that chocolate increases the body’s metabolic processes enough to offset the calories contained in the chocolate. And this is where the catch really comes into play: there are chemical reactions caused by chocolate that cause the metabolism to speed up (at least according to this study and there are some researchers who take issue with it), but many easily available chocolates contain mostly sugar and other filler ingredients.

What does this mean? Well, it means that, more than likely, you’re better off eating a high cocoa solid percentage chocolate, say over 75% for example. This is definitely not a bad thing. Dark chocolate is delicious and has been linked to other health benefits, like lower cholesterol and reduced risks of heart disease.

So, eat a few squares of dark chocolate a day. You know, just to be on the safe side. There are far fewer calories and calories from fat in very dark chocolate when compared to other sweets and the worst case scenario is that you’ve sweetened your day a little.

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