Study: Chocolate helps weight loss - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Study: Chocolate helps weight loss

Chocolate has weight loss benefits according to a study. (Source: Raycom Media) Chocolate has weight loss benefits according to a study. (Source: Raycom Media)

German chocolate may be delicious, but new research about the health benefits of chocolate by German researchers may be even more delightful. A study out of Germany found that chocolate not only accelerates weight loss, but also aides in sleep quality.

With swimsuit season quickly approaching, many are kicking diets into full gear and that includes eating chocolate. No, really.

"Dark chocolate can be very satisfying, too, so it often can curb a sweet tooth," Tami Lawrence, a Clinical Dietician, said.

Researchers divided volunteers aged 19 to 67 into three groups. One group followed a low carbohydrate diet, another group also followed a low carb diet, but added 42 grams of dark chocolate per day, and a control group followed their normal diet. The low carb group lost weight compared to the control group. But, the low carb group that added chocolate lost 10 percent more weight and kept it off longer.

"People don't feel like they have to cheat maybe when they're getting a little bit of chocolate," Lawrence suggested.

Those who consumed chocolate also reported sleeping better and the chocolate dieters even had significantly reduced blood cholesterol levels.

Tami Lawrence said it's likely because of a component called flavonoids in the chocolate.

"It's been shown to help with being an antioxidant," she explained.

Not all chocolate is created equal, at least not health-wise. A pack of Oreos, despite tasting chocolatey, does not have the benefits of a piece of dark chocolate.

"All things in moderation and then always try to get the highest percentage of the cocoa that you can."

So before you cut out dessert completely, remember one chocolatey bite or two might be just what you need to get your beach body back for summer.

The research didn't explain why the dieters who consumed chocolate lost more weight. Dieters in the study consumed 81 percent dark chocolate. We are told the higher the percentage, the more health benefits the chocolate has.

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