Today's Post: Thursday, 3-29-2012
Most people think of chocolate as a fattening food.
Sometimes they are correct; but there is new information that this is not always the case!
If you like chocolate, you may find this good news indeed!
You likely CAN eat chocolate several times a week and be less fat or no fatter.
1. A new study came out with the finding that people who ate chocolate more often up -- to 5 times a week or more! -- actually tended to be leaner than people who ate chocolate less than once a week.
Here’s the new info:
The study was recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine. It was reported in the online news this week.
The researcher at UC San Diego, Dr. Beatrice Golomb, interviewed 1,018 men and women between 20 and 85 years old. And the people who said they had chocolate an average of 5 times week or more had slightly lower BMI readings (how heavy they were in relation to their height) than the people who said they had little to no chocolate most weeks.
This was true even though the people in both groups reported eating the same amount of calories each week.
The researcher, Dr Golomb, said other earlier research found that epicatechin, a polyphenol in cocoa, tested as slightly boosting metabolism and had some effect on increasing lean muscle mass instead of adding fat because of this.
2. Other studies have found that eating dark chocolate NOT at the same time as milk or milk protein increases your blood flow and lowers your blood pressure a bit if it’s too high.
That research has two clues to eating chocolate more often without adding fat.:
These positive effects were slightly greater eating dark chocolate or cocoa with NO sugar added compared with eating dark chocolate or cocoa with sugar.
And, the amount needed of dark chocolate was about a quarter or half of a small dark chocolate candy bar. Eating two bars was slightly LESS effective than just eating a quarter or half a bar.
3. Did you notice that the people who ate chocolate several times each week ate about the same total calories as those who ate chocolate far less often?
That means they compensated somehow for the calories in the chocolate by eating slightly less of something else.
That set of things explains the paradox and shows how you can enjoy chocolate and its mood boosting effects often and actually be LESS fat.
A. It IS still true that if you eat a lot of chocolate that you ADD to what you have been eating you will gain weight. And if you eat chocolate or dark chocolate that contains sugar, you’ll likely be adding most of that weight as fat.
This very thing happened to me! One Christmas season our office was giving out free miniature Hershey dark chocolate bars.
I’d read about the benefits of dark chocolate and decided to have one of these miniature Hershey dark chocolate bars several times a day. And, I did this for about 3 weeks.
But when I stepped onto a scale I’d gained 6 pounds in that three weeks!
B. I now eat chocolate 5 times a week. AND I did so during the five months or so when I LOST 20 pounds.
How did I do that?!!
I did this in two ways:
I set up something like 8 ways to eat slightly fewer calories but the same amount of protein, nutrition, and fiber and did them every week. That’s how I lost the 20 pounds and have kept most of them off. (I also kept doing vigorous exercise most days of every week.)
Second, I used the information about the health benefits to cut down the amount of sugar and calories I ate while having the chocolate 5 times each week.
Two days a week with at least a day in between, I ate half a Hershey’s small dark chocolate bar for a mid-morning break snack. Then on Friday night, I’d allow myself all of one of the Hershey’s small dark chocolate bars or a small Hershey’s milk chocolate with almonds bar.
Then on Saturday and Sunday mornings I made a double strength hot cocoa drink with Ghirardelli’s unsweetened cocoa to which I added no sugar or milk.
I still do! So I get the taste and enjoyment of chocolate 5 times a week with only the sugar of two small Hershey bars.
In this way I get the health benefits and likely get the metabolism boosting benefits of chocolate 5 times a week but no weight or fat gain.
So, it IS possible to have chocolate often and be less fat at the same time!
The new information that you get a slight metabolism boost too is most welcome news indeed!