Research shows that some compounds in Chocolate help fend off fat.
A recent study was in the news this week both on National Public Radio and in Consumer Reports. The findings are that people who eat chocolate several times a week are actually leaner than people who don’t eat chocolate regularly. Chocolate can actually be good for you, and this is one of the many ways it can work.
THE RESEARCH STUDY
Beatrice Golomb, is an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego. She queried about 1000 people–ages 20 to 85–about their chocolate consumption, The participants then completed a food questionnaire to estimate their caloric intake of a whole range of foods, including chocolate. They also had weight and height measurements to calculate their body mass index or BMI.
Golomb reported, “In our study, people who ate chocolate more often actually ate more calories, but in spite of that they had a lower (BMI).”
A 5-foot tall woman, weighing about 120 pounds would weigh about 5 pounds less if she were a frequent chocolate eater.
Exercise was not a factor because people who ate chocolate reported less exercise.
This study does not provide complete proof that chocolate makes you thinner, and it does have some flaws in that when people fill out their questionnaires they may not accurately report their food or chocolate consumption. Plus, the kind of chocolate consumed was not documented, so some participants were probably eating dark chocolate and others were possibly eating the chocolate-flavored sugar found in most candy bars. Some may have even been eating cold-pressed, “healthy chocolate”, which would definitely skew the results toward the positive.
CALORIES ARE NOT ALL EQUAL
The important idea here is that our bodies treat calories differently. Certain foods contain compounds that can positively influence metabolic factors. Joshua Lambert of Penn State University says, “When people talk about the health benefits of chocolate they typically talk about compounds called polyphenols.” His research showed that these polyphenols found in cocoa potentially inhibit an enzyme called pancreatic lipase, which is responsible for digesting dietary fat. Essentially these compounds in chocolate may help us fend off fat. Lambert’s studies have only been conducted on mice and in test tubes but they offer one explanation to the results found in San Diego.
One last important note is that this research was not funded by the chocolate industry. The funding was provided by the National Institute of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institue, and the UC San Diego General Clinical Research Center.
One chocolate that is processed to retain all the polyphenols and flavonoids is Xocai Healthy Chocolate. Got questions? Want to taste it? Give us a call or stop by!
Note: This article was largely paraphrased from
Best of Health to you & yours!
Doctor of Oriental Medicine