Eating Chocolate Helps You Lose Weight
If you are on a diet, you are probably trying to avoid chocolate at all costs. It is very tempting to grab a candy even though you don’t want to. Or you may be trying to reward yourself with some chocolate after doing some heavy exercise.
Many people are afraid of chocolate because it contains a high amount of calories. But you should not be afraid of chocolate. Chocolate in moderation is very healthy for you.
Chocolate Consumption and Weight Loss
Recent research reported in Archives of Internal Medicine shows that people who consumed chocolate had a lower BMI (body mass index) than those who did not eat chocolate. These researchers from University of California, San Diego mentioned that chocolate has antioxidants that improve insulin sensitivity, reduce blood pressure and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
The researchers found that regular chocolate eaters were able to lose weight even though they consumed more calories and more saturated fat. The research took into account physical activity, age and gender so that the true effect of chocolate can be calculated.
Frequent consumption turned out to be more important for weight loss. This means that people who eat chocolate regularly tend to be leaner. So the lesson is not to gobble up lots of chocolate at once; it is better to eat small amounts over a period of time.
In this study, 975 volunteers answered questions about how often they ate chocolates. The researchers also measured their weight and BMI. The relationship between chocolate consumption and weight was established based on statistical analysis.
Not All Chocolates Are Healthy
So does this mean that you should go to your nearest store and buy lots of chocolate? Chocolate does contain lots of calories and many manufacturers use preservatives and chemicals in it.
While the study did not particularly mention about the particular kind of chocolate, we recommend eating dark chocolate for health and weight loss. It is a good idea to avoid popular sugary or white chocolate near the cash register at your closest store. Instead go to the chocolate section and find the chocolate bars with high cacao content but with minimal sugar.
Based on previous research, we know that dark chocolate is one of the healthiest foods in the world. Dark chocolate contains lots of healthy fats and polyphenols.
One of the healthy polyphenols in dark chocolate is a flavanol called epicatechin. These polyphenols help you lose weight, improve insulin sensitivity and also help your cardiovascular health.
Remember that cacao beans, which are used to make chocolate, are super-foods that come from plants. So it is not surprising that you get several health benefits including weight loss if you eat chocolate that is least processed.
So if you are not sure how to pick your chocolate, look for chocolate bars that have cacao levels higher than 70%. If you can stand the taste, you may even go for 80% or 90% cacao content. Since the dark chocolate tastes somewhat bittersweet, it is hard to over-consume and gain too many calories. In my experience, I find that even a small portion of dark chocolate is satisfying and filling.
Another way to experience the benefit of dark chocolate is by making your own hot chocolate drink. You can buy cacao powder in bulk from any health store. So you can mix the powder in coconut milk or almond milk and add some raw honey for some sweetness.
Chocolate may be one of the healthiest foods for weight loss, but it is important to be careful about the kind of chocolate you pick.