Few people would mention chocolate as a weight loss remedy, but two new studies demonstrate dark chocolate as a valuable food against excess weight.
In the study “Dark Chocolate: An Obesity Paradox or a Culprit for Weight Gain?” published in the journal Phytotherapeutic Research, scientists at Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh, England assessed the effects of dark chocolate on animals, humans, and in cell cultures in the laboratory. They found that the consumption of cocoa or dark chocolate helped manage obesity and regulate body weight in several ways. It decreased the gene expression of impaired fat synthesis, reduced the absorption of fats and carbohydrates, and increased the feeling of fullness.
In another study by scientists at the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Tor Vergata, in Rome, Italy and published in the journal European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences scientists studied women who appeared to be a healthy weight but were categorized as “normal weight obese” or NOW syndrome. That means they had a high percentage of body fat and therefore a higher risk for heart disease. They found that dark chocolate consumption could be useful in maintaining a good heart health as it caused a significant decrease in the amount of cholesterol and reduced markers for inflammation. They also found a reduction in the measurement of abdominal fat.
Both studies used dark chocolate, which is chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa and a small amount, if any, sugar. Earlier research has also demonstrated dark chocolate’s ability to lower blood pressure when it is high.
As a nutritionist, I am often the bearer of bad news: that peoples’ favorite foods are unhealthy. In this case you may just love the messenger since dark chocolate appears to be the new weight loss food!
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