Chocolate for Your Diet?

Here is another reason to stop feeling guilty when you eat chocolate. According to a recent study, people who regularly eat chocolate tend to be thinner than those who very rarely or never eat any.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego analyzed data on more than a thousand male and female adults with an average age of 57. None of them had any chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes or high cholesterol. The study subjects filled out questionnaires which included information about how much chocolate they ate per week. Most of the volunteers completed the questions related to chocolate and had their body mass indexes (BMIs) measured. The researchers found that the study subjects who ate chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who ate chocolate less often.

The authors of the study did find that regular chocolate eaters consumed more calories and higher amounts of saturated fats, despite being leaner than those who did not eat any or as much chocolate. And they found that it was not the total amount of chocolate eaten each week that was association with lower BMI but how often the chocolate was eaten — those who ate chocolate more regularly were leaner.

Before you get off the computer and run to grab a chocolate bar, the study authors stress that these findings are not proof that eating chocolate every day will help you drop those extra pounds. They say more research is necessary, as this small study did not prove cause-and-effect, and believe that the antioxidants in chocolate could play a role in some factors associated with lower body weight.