Chocolate linked to lower body fat…hell yeah!

Cacao-lovers, this one’s for you: A new study has linked chocolate consumption and lower body-fat levels, a finding that goes against the conventional wisdom that chocolate is fattening. Obviously they didn’t feed their participants Hershey kisses…

Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain found that eating chocolate was associated with lower level of total fat deposits, even in cases where people were not dieting or exercising.

The researchers, whose findings were published in the journal Nutrition, speculated that the results could be due to catechins, a type of antioxidant that may positively influence cortisol production and insulin sensitivity — both factors in becoming overweight or obese.

Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has received some good press in recent years for its antioxidant properties. Most nutrition experts agree that chocolate with 60 percent cacao or higher has the most health benefits. Still, it has never been a dieter’s darling due to its sugar, fat, cholesterol, and calorie content. And when you look at the ingredients in most chocolate brands, it looks more like candy hell than antioxidant heaven…

But hey, as a chocolate lover, I’ll take any kind of study telling me to keep eating it!

Just as with everything though, quality trumps quantity, so look for the best (at least 65% dark) chocolate you can afford, and really savor it. For me, I would not make it through another New England winter without my Alain Chartier dark chocolate bars.

A word of caution before you go and grab your favorite choco treat:

  • If you know or suspect adrenal fatigue, bypass the chocolate. I had to forgo chocolate for a year while nursing my adrenals back to health. Chocolate will not make you feel good if your adrenals are burnt out.
  • If you have trouble with falling and/or staying asleep, don’t consume dark chocolate everyday and avoid indulging past lunch time.
  • If you cannot give up your afternoon chocolate treat without becoming hysterical, then it’s time to let go sister! Addictions are never recommended.

Other than that, I say go for it! Lick it, chew it, swoon over it…it’s all good:)