68455 Researchers from the University of Granada in Spain found European adolescents who ate a lot of chocolate were slimmer, even if they were not dieting or extremely active.
The Spanish researchers examined the diets and healthy activities of 1,458 teenagers aged between 12 and 17 in nine European countries, including Spain and the UK. Researchers found that those who enjoyed a lot of chocolate had lower overall body fat, regardless of whether they were working out or dieting.
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Chocolate was also found to have a positive effect on circulation, blood pressure and heart health. Materials related to the study, which was published in the Journal Nutrition did not specify exactly what qualified as “high chocolate consumption.”
Janet Aylott, a nutrition scientist for Nutracheck, which commissioned the survey, said extensive research has proven that diets centered on food elimination are much more likely to fail.
“The key is to take a more relaxed approach and to have a little of what you like,” Aylott said.
The study found chocolate, which is a notorious high-calorie diet-buster, has some health benefits such as it being full of antioxidants, and chocolate being good for the heart and circulation.
Previous research has shown that dieters who completely eliminate treats such as chocolate, wine and biscuits are often more likely to put on weight as they “compensate” by eating more of other foods. One study even showed that as many as 65 percent of those who give up all treats end up gaining weight.
The study authors don’t advocate eating all the chocolate you want, it’s all about the importance of moderation.
Another recent study from the University of Cambridge found people who enjoyed chocolate every day were 29 percent less likely to have a stroke and 37 percent less likely to suffer with heart disease than those who avoided it most of the time.
This research backs up a 2012 study from the University of California, San Diego, which also found that chocolate-lovers have lower BMIs.