I will start this post by saying I have eaten chocolate every single day for at least a decade. Maybe longer, actually. Sometimes it’s a chocolate Vitamuffin. Sometimes it’s a small handful of organic semi-sweet chocolate morsels. Sometimes I go for a Trader Joe’s 100 calorie dark chocolate bar. No matter, I eat my chocolate daily. It provides me with an instant boost, and it may also be one of the reasons that I’ve stayed within five or so pounds of the same weight over the past ten to 15 years, according to a new study out of the University of California at San Diego.
From the University’s press release: “Adults who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who consumed chocolate less often.” This finding was especially interesting because the chocolate-eaters did not exercise more and actually took in more calories. Chocoholics like me (meaning people who ate at least five servings of chocolate weekly) weighed between five to seven pounds less than those who ate none, according to the study author, Beatrice A. Golomb, M.D., Ph.D.
The fact that chocolate is healthy isn’t surprising to me — or to researchers. Last year different researchers found that “high levels of chocolate consumption might be associated with a one third reduction in the risk of developing heart disease,” according to a study published on bmj.com. A March 2010 study in the European Heart Journal found that “just one small square of chocolate a day can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.”
Researchers point to the multitude of antioxidants, polyphenols, and flavanols in the cocoa plant, which is a fruit in case you were wondering! So for anyone out there who is reading this and dreaming about chocolate: Go ahead, in moderation. Good news for all of us.