Eat Chocolate to Lose Weight

Chocolate triflesRegular Chocolate Eaters are Thinner

Katherine Hepburn famously said of her slim physique: “What you see before you is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.” New evidence suggests she may have been right.

Beatrice Golomb, and colleagues present new findings that may overturn the major objection to regular chocolate consumption: that it makes people fat. The study, showing that adults who eat chocolate on a regular basis are actually thinner that those who don’t, will be published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The authors dared to hypothesize that modest, regular chocolate consumption might be calorie-neutral –in other words, that the metabolic benefits of eating modest amounts of chocolate might lead to reduced fat deposition per calorie and approximately offset the added calories (thus rendering frequent, though modest, chocolate consumption neutral with regard to weight). To assess this hypothesis, the researchers examined dietary and other information provided by approximately 1000 adult men and women from San Diego, for whom weight and height had been measured.

The UC San Diego findings were even more favorable than the researchers conjectured. They found that adults who ate chocolate on more days a week were actually thinner – i.e. had a lower body mass index – than those who ate chocolate less often. The size of the effect was modest but the effect was “significant” –larger than could be explained by chance. This was despite the fact that those who ate chocolate more often did not eat fewer calories (they ate more), nor did they exercise more. Indeed, no differences in behaviors were identified that might explain the finding as a difference in calories taken in versus calories expended.

“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,” said Golomb. “In the case of chocolate, this is good news –both for those who have a regular chocolate habit, and those who may wish to start one.”

Source: University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

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Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure -Yahoo!

Chocolate trifles Cocoa, but Not Tea, Lowers Blood Pressure

More happy justification for chocolate lovers: blood pressure responds favorably to cocoa, but not tea, a new analysis suggests.

Authors of the study say that while both products are rich in polyphenols, the study findings suggest that phenols in cocoa may be more active than those in tea. The study appears in the April 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

“Products rich in cocoa may be considered part of a blood pressure lowering diet, provided that the total energy intake does not increase,” lead investigator for the study, Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, from the University Hospital of Cologne in Cologne, Germany, told heartwire. “I believe that cocoa is healthier than other sugar confectionary or high-fat dairy products.”

Cocoa Beats Tea for blood pressure

In the cocoa studies, cocoa consumption was typically flavonol-rich chocolate in the range of 100 g per day; in the tea studies, consumption was in the range of 4 to 6 cups daily.

In the cocoa studies, blood pressure dropped; however, in the tea studies, no differences were seen in blood pressure. The authors point out that while the 2 substances contain similar amounts of polyphenols, the components of these polyphenols differ between cocoa and tea: cocoa is particularly rich in procyanidins, whereas black and green tea are rich in flavan-3-ols and gallic acid. It may be that the polyphenol components in cocoa are more bioavailable, Taubert and colleagues propose.

According to Taubert and colleagues, the effects of cocoa on blood pressure were comparable to those achieved with antihypertensive drugs. “The magnitude of the hypotensive effects of cocoa is clinically noteworthy; it is in the range that is usually achieved with single doses of medication,” they write.

“At the population level, this level of reduction of blood pressure would be expected to substantially reduce the risk of;

  • stroke (by about 20%),
  • coronary heart disease (by 10%), and
  • all-cause mortality (by 8%).”

Research article published in the Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:626-634.

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