Chocolate for weight loss: Reality or is it too good to be true?
Chocolate is the ultimate indulgence for many out there. Dark chocolate is the right mixture of sweet to not be overpowering with a slight bitterness. Researchers have preached for a long time of the benefits of chocolate. It has been suggested that the flavonoids in chocolate helps with everything from blood flow to blood pressure to blood sugar control, but does it help with weight loss (especially body fat) and maintenance?
Research from 2012 appears to show a good correlation between chocolate consumption and a lower BMI. The stay was published in the Anals of Internal Medicine. It looked at 1018 men and women and examined the link between frequency of chocolate consumption and BMI. The higher the frequency of chocolate intake was linked to a lower BMI. Although it is not a causal relationship, it clearly indicated a link to a lower BMI.
In another study, researchers looked at women with normal weight obesity. Normal weight obesity is where they have a weight that is in the low-risk category on the insurance tables, but they have an elevated body fat and BMI. In this research, 15 subjects were tested and given dark chocolate that was 70% cacao, and their waist circumference (a measure of central body fat) decreased. This study shows a significant change but is limited by a low number of subjects.
The Bottom Line: This research suggests that eating dark chocolate can reduce your BMI and shrink the waist. The study cannot indicate a causal relationship bit it does show promise from chocolate. I will stress that other studies have found conflicting results. Dark chocolate is a healthy addition to your diet for other reason, so I recommend 1-2 servings of 70% cacao chocolate. The less the cacao, the less healthy the chocolate is, therefore, I recommend at least 70%.