Dark Chocolate and Losing Weight
Do you have a sweet tooth? Are you trying to get fit? As it turns out, that sweet tooth may not be such a curse. Scientists are finding out that dark chocolate may be a super food. This super food allows you to take care of your body while feeling like you’re cheating on your diet at the same time.
As a personal trainer I have to work with my clients, not against them. Sometimes this requires to let them indulge once in a while. Rather than letting loose on junk food, I offer my clients some dark chocolate. Not only do they feel some satisfaction from getting to sink their teeth into a piece of chocolate, but the counterpart to milk chocolate offers plenty of health benefits as well.
That bad chocolate- the stuff packed into colorful wrappers right next to the grocery checkout – can get you in trouble. It’s made in a factory and loaded with added sugars. Those sugars will not only rot your teeth but they’ll also wreck your insulin. As a result, you can start accumulating fat around your waistline.
Dark chocolate is different. It’s derived from the cocoa bean, and its fermentation doesn’t require manipulating light or temperature (1). This means a low level of processing. As an actual natural food, dark chocolate has healthy bacteria in it that can help lower you cholesterol while repairing the bacteria found in your stomach (1). It’s truly a gift from Mother Nature (and you thought raisins were Nature’s candy).
How powerful is dark chocolate? Half a dark chocolate bar will actually give you 5 grams of fiber. You certainly won’t find that in a Hershey bar. It’s also loaded with antioxidants that can support healthy blood flow and possibly lower your blood pressure. Guess what’s the best part? It can possibly help you get lean. Researchers believe that the antioxidants found in dark chocolate can help you shed fat. This is because those antioxidants may actually shutdown the genes that cause your body to store fat; a process we refer to as fat synthesis. Stopping fat synthesis allows the body to use fat as an energy source throughout the day.
There’s a slight catch though. Make sure the dark chocolate you consume is at least 70% cacao. You want to avoid bars that have added sugar and dairy. The dairy may stop your body from absorbing the antioxidants. Lastly, everything needs to be done in moderation. Wolfing down bar after bar, no matter how “healthy” it is, is still going to overload you with calories. Three days a week of consuming ½ a bar should do the trick.
Want to get in shape? Then your sweet tooth may help you. Looks like it’s not a curse after all.
1. Petyaev, I.M. and Bashmakov, Y.K. “Cocobiota: Implications for Human Health.” (2015) Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. Vol. 2016.7906927