The dream of every woman is not to find the perfect man but to eat chocolate without getting fat and possibly wearing a pair of Manolo Blahnik, of course!
But is it really true that eating a bar of chocolate (and I mean real chocolate that tastes good and not the bizarre healthy bars in the bio shop we have all seen) can raise your body metabolism?
This may sound too good to be true but it is precisely what researchers at the University of Copenhagen have in their melting pot. “It would be good if ordinary people could use this chocolate as part of their normal eating diet and actually eat less,” says Arne Astrup, a doctor of medical science and the head of the university’s Department of Human Nutrition, who led the development of the new chocolate. Together with his colleagues, Astrup focuses on appetite, energy metabolism and preventing and treating obesity.
The secret? Chocolate is high in catechins, plant compounds that may increase insulin sensitivity — helping to keep weight down. But catechins don’t turn the treat into a diet food: Compounds in chocolate may alter metabolism, reducing the fraction of calories that turn to fat but still better to go for dark chocolate with 60 to 70 percent cocoa.
In a study that may seen like a dream come true, researchers have found that people who regularly eat chocolate tend to be thinner than people who don’t eat chocolate at all.
Scientists still do not, unfortunately, endorse snacking on enormous piles of candy bars or massive bowls of chocolate ice cream. Always prefer high quality chocolate and avoid industrialized products. More pleasure, less ‘side effects’!
‘Food of the Gods’ or Theobroma cacao is the plant that produces chocolate beans. The Aztecs and Mayans used its beans both as money and as a treatment for a variety of diseases. Ancient warriors consumed cocoa to increase their strength.
Nowadays, researchers have linked chocolate consumption to a bunch of good health outcomes, including lower risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, lower levels of bad cholesterol along with higher levels of good cholesterol, and increased sensitivity to insulin, which helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.
Last but not least, what better gift can you offer to your beloved?