People who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner according to new research. The findings come from a study of nearly 1,000 US people that looked at diet, calorie intake and body mass index (BMI). It found those who ate chocolate a few times a week were, on average, slimmer than those who ate it only occasionally.
Even though chocolate is loaded with calories, it contains ingredients that may favor weight loss rather than fat synthesis, scientists believe. Despite boosting calorie intake, regular chocolate consumption was related to lower BMI in the study published in Archives of Internal Medicine.
The link remained even when other factors, like how much exercise individuals did, were taken into account and it appears how often you eat chocolate that is important, rather than how much of it you eat. The study found no link with quantity consumed.
Other studies have claimed chocolate may be good for the heart and linked to some favorable changes in blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol level. Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, contains antioxidants which can help to clean harmful free radicals, unstable chemicals that can damage our cells.
Dr Golomb and her team believe that antioxidant compounds, called catechins, can improve lean muscle mass and reduce weight. Nice to hear after the Easter chocolate binge.