Good news for chocaholics

Following the annual chocfest that is Easter, comes news that all chocolate lovers have been waiting for – people who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner.

The findings come from a study of nearly 1,000 people in the United States that looked at diet, calorie intake and body mass index, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study found those who ate chocolate a few times a week were, on average, slimmer than those who ate it occasionally and even though chocolate is packed full of calories, it contains ingredients that may favour weight loss rather than fat synthesis.

Despite boosting calorie intake, regular chocolate consumption was related to lower Body Mass Index in the study and the link remained even when other factors, like how much exercise individuals did, were taken into account.

It appears it is how often you eat chocolate that is important, rather than how much of it you eat. The study found no link with quantity consumed.

This is not the first time scientists have suggested that chocolate may be healthy for us, with previous studies suggesting it may be good for the heart.

Consumption of certain types of chocolate has been linked to some favourable changes in blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and cholesterol level.

Dark chocolate in particular contains certain antioxidants such as catechins which can help to mop up harmful free radicals that are known to cause cell damage.

But, and there was always going to be a but, before you go and buy extra stocks of Easter Eggs there are still remain many of unanswered questions and in the absence of conclusive evidence, experts advise caution.

While there’s no harm in allowing yourself an occasional treat like chocolate, eating too much might be harmful because of the large amounts of fat and sugar it often contains.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine

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