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Chocolate Helps You Stay Slim?

skinny chocolate

I love chocolate. In almost any form. It’s that one treat that makes you smile, that soothes a broken heart, that makes everything ok, that gives you energy when you need it. Recent studies show that those of us who regularly indulge our inner chocoholic are thinner than those who don’t.

There was a recent study undertaken by Beatrice Golomb (click to access the study), associate professor of medicine at the University of California in San Diego. People aged 20-85 were asked about their chocolate consumption habits, alongside questionnaires on other foods consumed. Their weight and heights were measured and their BMIs calculated. (Click to calculate your own BMI).

Dr. Golomb says “In our study, people who ate chocolate more often actually ate more calories. But in spite of that they had lower [BMI].” There was no specification as to which type of chocolate the participants consumer.

But the theory of chocolate consumption helping a person to stay lean doesn’t pan out amongst the study participants that ate the most chocolate. But maybe that’s because they were not 100% open about how much chocolate they ate – not wanting to appear to be over-indulgent.

Food scientist Joshua Lambert (Penn State University) investigated specific polyphenols (a compound found in cocoa). His research (on mice, not humans) shows that this compound inhibits pancreatic lipase – an enzyme that’s digests dietary fat. This could mean that the fat that is found in chocolate is not actually absorbed into our bodies. This may explain why regular chocolate eaters tend to be leaner.

My opinion? Let me go nibble on a bar of chocolate while I think about it some more. In all seriousness, we have to remember that everything is good for you in moderation.

Do you enjoy chocolate? Will this study encourage you to eat more? What’s your favorite chocolate?

Further Reading: Chocolate and Your Health, All Chocolate All the Time.