- Compounds in chocolate may alter metabolism, reducing the fraction of calories that turn to fat.
- Go for dark chocolate with 60 to 70 percent cocoa.
- Try to stop after just a bite or two.
In a study that may seen like a dream come true, researchers have found that people who regularly eat chocolate tend to be thinner than people who don't eat chocolate at all.
Scientists still do not, unfortunately, endorse snacking on enormous piles of candy bars or massive bowls of chocolate ice cream. Nevertheless, the study adds to growing evidence that chocolate contains compounds that, in moderate doses, may alter metabolism, boost the energy efficiency of cells, and reduce the fraction of calories consumed that get deposited as fat.
Eventually, the research may lead to obesity drugs that isolate chocolate's benefits in the pill form. In the meantime, the findings suggest that a square of chocolate after dinner most nights could help counter bulging waistlines.
"The presumption has always been that because chocolate is full of pesky calories and eaten as a sweet, that it would be associated with higher BMI," or body mass index, said Beatrice Golomb, an internal medicine doctor who studies oxidative stress and other topics at the University of California, San Diego.