Noofa Hannan, Howl Staff
Contrary to the age-old belief that chocolates are bad for your waistline, new research suggests they might actually have a slimming effect. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has found that regular chocolate eaters tend to be thinner.
The study, headed by Dr Beatrice Golomb from the University of California at San Diego, examined the diet, calorie intake and body mass index (BMI) of nearly a thousand men and women in the U.S. The findings indicate that regular chocolate consumption is related to lower BMI, a measure of obesity. The link persists even when other factors, like amount of exercise, are taken into account. It should be noted that it’s not the quantity but the frequency of chocolate consumption that matters. No significant effect was observed for people that seldom ate chocolate.
Dr. Golomb explains, “Our findings appear to add to a body of information suggesting that the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining their ultimate impact on weight.” According to Dr. Golomb and her team, chocolates contain catechin, a type of antioxidant that helps improve lean muscle mass and reduce weight. Their hypothesis is supported by studies on mice, showing boosted metabolism and increased muscle mass with consumption of catechin.
If this isn’t enough to shake off your fear of chocolates, ample research exists to suggest that they are a perfectly healthy food. Earlier studies have shown that eating dark chocolate helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Plus, regular chocolate consumption has been found to help our body utilize insulin, a hormone important for the breakdown of glucose in cells.
So what are you waiting for? A chocolate a day is not such a bad deal, eh?