By: Adam L.
We all want to eat foods that taste like sin.
The problem is, when it feels that good, (and that bad), it usually is just bad.
Unless you eat this sinful dessert which actually can help you lose weight and protect your heart.
Now a brief note about this sinful dessert before we go too far into the research around it.
While the dessert in question (dark chocolate) is excellent for you, it’s not going to be of much benefit to you if you combine it with tons of sugar and carbohydrates.
So, when you’re reading this, dismiss any idea that a Snickers bar is going to help you lose weight and protect your heart.
On the other hand, pure, unadulterated dark chocolate (also referred to as cocoa) will help protect your health. Which is why adding a few ounces of it to your diet daily could help improve your health in ways you wouldn’t imagine.
The Astounding Ways Dark Chocolate Can Protect the Heart
When you read the words “dark chocolate,” you’re reading a misnomer.
Pure cocoa, AKA real chocolate, is always dark. It only becomes light when diluted with fillers like milk and sugar.
And the darkness of chocolate is a signal that what you’re about to eat holds a long list of health-boosting compounds inside.
Namely antioxidants and healthy fats.
There is proof dark chocolate is great for you, enough evidence that Harvard even published an article commenting on it.
In that article, they wrote: “If you’re a chocoholic, the news out of England is tantalizing: middle-aged and older adults who eat up to 3.5 ounces of chocolate a day (that’s more than two standard Hershey bars) seem to have lower rates of heart disease than those who spurn chocolate.”
At least that was the conclusion of a study that followed the health of nearly 21,000 residents of Norfolk, England, for 11 years. Among those in the top tier of chocolate consumption, 12% developed or died of cardiovascular disease during the study, compared to 17.4% of those who didn’t eat chocolate. The results were published online in the medical journal “Heart”.
While the study didn’t delve into the mechanisms behind the increase in heart health, it likely has to do with the fact that dark chocolates contain healthy fats.
A typical dark chocolate bar is made with copious amounts of fat known as oleic acid (the same kind of fat also found in olive oil), along with two other healthy fats called stearic acid and palmitic acid.
These fats aren’t added to dark chocolate separately, either. The cocoa butter used as an ingredient to make dark chocolate is derived from the same plant that the cocoa powder used to give chocolate its strong flavor comes from.
These fats don’t just protect the heart; they’re also instrumental for weight loss, too.
Yes, Dark Chocolate Can Help You Lose Weight
There are two ways in which dark chocolate can help you lose weight.
The first has to do with the same way it helps protect your heart.
Because dark chocolate is made up of healthy forms of fat, when incorporated into a ketogenic diet the fats help to turn on “fat storage burners,” which induce your body to use stored fat reserves as fuel.
The fats in dark chocolate are short-chain fatty acids. This means they break apart easily in the body and burn quickly as fuel (while on a ketogenic diet). This quick-burning form of fat then enhances your body’s natural tendency to use fat reserves (i.e., belly fat and other problem areas of fat) to help power cellular processes.
In addition to creating a ketogenic effect, there’s another unique way that dark chocolate helps you lose weight.
A recent study by Dutch researchers showed that by eating and/or smelling chocolate, it helped to suppress your body’s appetite hormone called ghrelin.
The researchers had 12 women participate in two, 60-minute studies.
In the first session, all of the women ate 30 grams of chocolate. The precise mixture was 85% cocoa and had 4 grams of sugar.
In the second 60-minute session, six of the women only smelled the chocolate while the other women didn’t eat any chocolate at all and did not smell it either. The researchers observed that the women who smelled the chocolate had lower levels of ghrelin and felt more satisfied (full and satiated) than the other women and the control group (the ones who did not smell) had no marked decrease in appetite and remained as hungry as they had been before the study started.
Thus, the researchers concluded that dark chocolate could be efficient as an appetite modulator.
When Purchasing Dark Chocolate Keep This in Mind
It’s clear to see dark chocolate is stellar as a health-boosting food.
However, only buy chocolate that is fair-trade certified and supports farmers.
The chocolate market is rife with cruelty and abuse, so your decision to buy ethically traded chocolate doesn’t just improve your health, but the health of others as well.