More possible good news for chocolate lovers…a new study indicates that higher chocolate consumption may be associated with lower levels of body fat!? The research was actually conducted in Europe focusing only on the adolescent population, with over 1400 participants ages 12.5-17.5. The study revealed that higher consumption of chocolate was associated with lower levels of total fat (all throughout the body) and central fat (in the abdomen), independently of whether or not the individual participates in regular physical activity and of diet, among other factors.
Chocolate is rich in a type of flavonoid called catechins, which are very protective against heart disease "due to their antioxidant, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive effects" note the researchers It is possible that catechins may also have an effect on both cortisol production and insulin sensitivity that could help regulate weight and obesity potential.
I think it is too early to tell and the authors of the study did still point out that it is important to consume chocolate in moderation. In addition, the authors also noted that they did not have info on the type of chocolate consumed. Not all chocolate is created equal either, pure dark chocolate is likely to be more beneficial than consuming milk chocolate and that found in mixed products such as junky candies in my opinion and from what I have seen in previous scientific literature. Still this research is promising and it will be interesting to see what additional studies tell us. I'm sure many of you are rooting for chocolate for sure!!
A great review of the study can be found here and here is the link to the original study abstract that was published recently in the journal Nutrition.
And enjoy a little chocolate by breaking of a small square from a high quality dark chocolate bar or in my Chocolate Walnut Coconut Bites and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Protein Bar recipes!