Thursday, March 29, 2012
Chocolate for a Leaner You?
According to the study, those who ate chocolate a few times a week were, on average, slimmer than those who ate it occasionally. Chocolate does have a lot of calories but scientists believe it also has ingredients that help with weight loss.
Beatrice Golomb, a University of California, San Diego, researcher says a survey she did of about 1,000 Americans suggests that chocolate may make you leaner. The survey found that those who ate chocolate about five times a week had a body mass index one point lower than those who didn't indulge. This was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The study found that regular chocolate consumption was related to a lower body mass index and the link remained even when other factors like exercise were taken into account. Scientists also found that how often you eat chocolate is more important than the amount you ate.
For someone who weighs 120 pounds and is 5 feet tall, one BMI point translates to about 5 pounds, Golomb said in a telephone interview (reported at SF Gate). The report, the first to tie chocolate consumption to lower body mass index, doesn't say how much or what type of chocolate was eaten, nor does it control for diet and exercise, opening the way for more research.
There have been many studies done on the health benefits of chocolate. Some have found chocolate to be good for your heart. Others have found that dark chocolate contains antioxidants and can help improve lean muscle mass.
The survey results suggest researchers looking at diet should consider the types, rather than number, of calories people are eating as foods such as cinnamon and chocolate are found to provide possible health benefits, said Golomb, an associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the university's School of Medicine.
"Chocolate has already shown favorable associations to heart disease, all-cause mortality, blood pressure and even cavities," she said "If you're eating a couple of squares of chocolate a number of times a week, it's probably just fine. Typically chocolate is consumed as a sweet and should have adverse applications for body mass index. In fact, it's the converse," according to the survey.