Recent studies reveal that individuals who frequently consume moderate amounts of chocolate (even milk chocolate is ok!) are slimmer than their coco-deprived counterparts. Time out for a mini celebratory dance. Though many of us (women in particular) have a tenuous relationship with sweets – research suggests chocolate truly deserves a place in the world of health food.
Previous studies have shown a link between chocolate consumption and lower blood pressure, reduced inflammation, and decreased cholesterol. The antioxidants and phytonutrients in cocoa seem to offer protection from chocolate’s more negative characteristics – mainly, sugar.
Researchers in San Diego examined the relationship between frequency of chocolate consumption and body mass index and found that, despite calorically similar diets and equal levels of exercise, subjects who regularly ate moderate amounts of chocolate, weighed less than those who did not eat chocolate at all.
In the past, scientists mused that the sense of “indulgence” from eating chocolate could lead chocolate-eaters to refrain from consuming other sweets throughout the day, but this study takes overall calorie consumption into account and still provides data linking chocolate to lower BMI.
To answer the question “can chocolate make you skinny?” The answer is, sadly, no. None of the studies explicitly demonstrate a causal relationship between chocolate consumption and lower BMI but rather a correlation between the two. If nothing else, I’ll breathe easy knowing that my daily nibble of chocolate is not wreaking havoc on my figure.