Chocolate for slimmers
Research might in future lead to obesity drugs which isolate the benefits of chocolate in the form of a pill, but meanwhile the advice is that just ONE SQUARE of a chocolate bar, eaten after dinner every other night could help counter expanding waistlines.
Chocolate for slimmers
Everyone who felt guilty about buying that Easter Egg can relax, because in dream-come-true study come, researchers now claim that people who eat chocolate on a regular basis actually tend to be thinner than people who never eat it.
Scientists say that, all the same, snacking on lots of the stuff is a no-go, although the study does add to mounting evidence of chocolate containing compounds that - in modest amounts - might change the metabolic rate, boosting cellular energy efficiency and reducing the proportion of calories consumed being deposited as fat.
It seems possible that research might in future lead to obesity drugs which isolate the benefits of chocolate in the form of a pill, but meanwhile the advice is that just ONE SQUARE of a chocolate bar, eaten after dinner every other night could help counter expanding waistlines.
People can at last feel less guilty about chocolate consumption, as long as it remains moderate, and this is nothing new, according to cardiology expert and professor of medicine at UCSD, Francisco Villarreal, who maintains that people have been tuned in to the health benefits of chocolate for at least 5,000 years.
Called Theobroma cacao, the plant that produces chocolate beans, translates as food of the gods, both Aztecs and Mayans using them as a treatment for a variety of diseases and as money, warriors consuming cocoa to increase strength.
Modern research has linked chocolate consumption to several good health outcomes - lower risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, increased sensitivity to insulin, which helps maintain steady blood sugar levels, lower levels of bad along with higher levels of good cholesterol - among other things.
Chocolate had long been considered both fattening and sinful, having relatively high fat and sugar content, and to test that assumption, more than 1,000 healthy adults - BMIs ranging from 17 to 50 - were tested Under 18 is underweight - over 25 is overweight - 30+ is obese.
When asked how many times a week they consumed chocolate, those saying five or more had a full point lower BMIs than people who eat any.
They did no more exercise more than chocolate-avoiders, and actually ate more calories overall, but the findings suggest that something in chocolate helps people more efficiently process calories.
This could be epicatechin - a naturally occurring cocoa-bean compound linked, in experimental settings, to impressive health and exercise benefits. One study, for instance, had mice running 50% farther after a relatively small amount of epicatechin being given, while another - including just five people with heart failure and diabetes - concluded that epicatechin restored severely damaged mitochondria.
These are the cell's energy factories, which cocoa compounds seem magically to strengthen, increasing the mitochondria numbers, independent of any antioxidant activity. Stressed cells send messages to turn calories into fat, though reduced stress due to chocolate sees cells using their extra mitochondria to instead burn calories.
Chocolate lovers everywhere need not be too cheery, however, because the ideal dose of epicatechin comes in a relatively tiny serving of five grams of chocolate, the effects simply disappearing when you eat a little bit too much. It is recommended that you eat dark chocolate with between 60 and 70 percent cocoa, just a bite or two being ideal, if you have the will to stick to it.