University of California in San Diego (UCSD) investigators say that eating chocolate regularly could be helping you maintain a healthy weight. This statement is based on a study of 1,000 adults in the United States, which the research team recently completed.
In a paper published in the latest issue of the esteemed journal Archives of Internal Medicine, the team sets out to destroy the myth holding that chocolate is bad for your weight simply because it has a lot of calories, and is usually eaten as a sweet.
According to study leader, Dr. Beatrice Golomb, people largely assumed that the product is bad for their figures, but did not really bother to investigate whether that is actually true. This is why the UCSD group decided to conduct their latest study.
The scientists put together a study group made up of middle-aged individuals. All participants reported exercising at least three times per week, and eating chocolate an average of two times per week. What the team found was that higher chocolate consumption led to lower body mass indexes (BMI).
Golomb says that chocolate has numerous health benefits, such as providing the human body with a significant influx of antioxidants. This is especially true for dark chocolate. In addition, studies have demonstrated that the stuff improves cardiovascular health to a great extent.
“Studies show that dark chocolate helps reduce blood pressure and some heart disease because it’s rich in antioxidants. I’ve also heard about chocolate increasing male libido,” Chicago-based personal trainer Terrence Terrell says.
The stuff is also believed to increase the average resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is the minimum number of calories that the body needs in order to perform all of its basic, physiological functions.
In studies conducted on rats, scientists demonstrated that chocolate boosts the formation of muscle mass, while at the same time making the rodents more prone to seek out physical exercises.
“The chocolate studies in rats have shown that the rats increased their endurance, and there is strong reason to anticipate this in humans,” Golomb explains. She adds that another benefit is that the sweet gives people an energy boost similar to that of coffee, but without the actual caffeine, MEDILL