Breaking the taboo: dark chocolate helps in weight loss

WEB DESK: If you’re trying to lose weight, no doubt you’ve been told to stay away from chocolate. Well, it’s time to break that taboo. According to, dark chocolate has benefits such as helping with weight loss, stabilizing blood sugar, controlling appetite and reducing cravings.

It also tends to improve your mood, curbing your desire to consume comfort foods. Here are few benefits of dark chocolate.

1. Overall Health Benefits

good-healthAccording to Weight Watchers, good-quality dark chocolate provides a portion of the same healthy benefits of most leafy green vegetables. When enjoyed in small quantities, dark chocolate can help lower your blood pressure, increase circulation and prevent arteriosclerosis, all very important aspects if you are obese.

The flavonoids in dark chocolate help reduce insulin resistance and prevent spikes in blood-sugar levels, discouraging you from overeating.

2. Controls Appetite

appetiteA study performed in the Netherlands showed that dark chocolate decreased insulin resistance and lowered the levels of ghrelin. Twelve women participated in two 60-minute studies. During the first 60-minute study, all 12 women ate a 100-gram mixture of chocolate that consisted of 85 percent cacao and 12.5 grams of sugar.

During the second 60-minute study, six of the women only smelled the chocolate, while the other six did not. The women who either ate or smelled the chocolate showed a drastic reduction in ghrelin and satiated appetites. No reduction in appetite or ghrelin levels was recorded for the control group.

3. Enhances Your Sense of Well-Being

well-beingThe polyphenols in dark chocolate have a profound effect on your sense of well-being. When you feel good, you tend to eat less to seek comfort. Dark chocolate contains anandamide, a type of lipid known as “the bliss chemical.” This chemical doesn’t stick around for long because it is easily broken down.

Dark chocolate, however, contains chemicals that inhibit the breakdown of this lipid, giving you a lasting sense of peace and well-being.

4. Fat Content

fat-contentDark chocolate does contain saturated fat. Not all saturated fat is bad for you, and good fats are necessary when trying to lose weight. Dark chocolate contains three types of fat: oleic acid, stearic acid and palmitic acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat that lowers your cholesterol. Stearic acid, when metabolized, turns into oleic acid.

Palmitic acid has been shown to raise cholesterol levels; however, when combined with oleic and stearic acid, the overall effects on cholesterol are irrelevant.

5. Encourages Exercise

exerciseThe anti-inflammatory constituents in chocolate, combined with its generous supply of magnesium, might leave your body feeling less pain. When your body feels good, exercising is far more appealing. Enjoying an ounce of dark chocolate that contains 70 percent or more cacao at night offers pain relief.

Dark chocolate’s stimulating effect makes that extra mile seem like a short jaunt. No worries, though: An ounce of dark chocolate only contains 23 milligrams of caffeine.

Images: FILE