According to a new study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, people who eat more chocolate have lower body weight than those who eat chocolates less frequently. Thus, according to this study conducted on 1,000 adults, people who want to lose weight need not avoid chocolates in their diet. The study report shows that people who eat chocolate five times a week have one point less body mass index (BMI) when compared to people who do not eat chocolate as frequently. One point on BMI scale is equivalent to 5 pounds in a woman who is 5 feet and 6 inches tall with a body weight of 125 pounds.
The interesting fact was that frequent chocolate eaters also reported to have more calorie intake and more saturated fat than people who ate chocolate less often. According to researchers, this would mean that the calories in the chocolates are offset by other ingredients which may improve the metabolic rate.
Beatrice A. Golomb, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, feels that the association looks as if moderate intake of chocolate may be similar to having without any calories. Many nutritionists are still skeptical about the results that chocolate may aid in loss of weight. Nancy Copperman, RD, CDN, director of public health initiatives at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, feels that the results are bit stretched out and it does not sound convincing that people who want to lose weight should eat chocolate. As the study was an observational one, it does not prove that chocolate causes weight loss.
Other experts feel that the study shows that who all can eat chocolates without guilt when compared to those who do not eat chocolate frequently. Nancy Copperman, RD, CDN, director of public health initiatives at the North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, New York, feels that eating chocolate may represent a relaxed attitude toward eating which is healthy attitude.
The study researchers did look at other things that might affect weight-loss, but found that people who eat chocolates frequently do not appear to exercise more or engage in other activities that might make them lose more weight than the others. Some experts do agree that chocolates have many qualities that make it a good choice for people who want to lose more body weight. “Dark chocolate is the best choice for dieters”, according to David Katz, MD, MPH, Director of the Yale Prevention Research Center in New Haven. “Dark chocolate has a bitter taste, which unlike sweet taste suppresses the appetite”, says Katz. “It is this quality that provides a lasting benefit”, adds Katz.
Furthermore, chocolate contains caffeine which boosts the metabolism and increases the calories burnt even when at rest. Katz cautions that the study does not mean calories in the chocolates are immaterial. The calories in chocolates do matter and the study does not say that people who want to lose weight should eat more chocolate. Chocolates are generally high in fat and sugar content. To make chocolate healthier, eat dark chocolates in moderation. “The ideal one would be dark chocolate that contain 60% or more of cocoa”, says Francisco Villarreal, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego. In one of the studies, he observed that mice fed on epicatechin, a key antioxidant present in chocolates could run about twice as far on the treadmill when compared to its counterparts who got water. He reports that chocolate might boost the metabolism slightly more than exercise.