BlogHealthChocolate Health Benefits: How Chocolate Helps You Lose Weight

Chocolate Health Benefits: How Chocolate Helps You Lose Weight

Ievgeniia Dobrynina
Written by Ievgeniia Dobrynina on June 01, 2021

Table of contents

Chocolate is often associated with self-indulgence, it’s synonymous with calories, sugar, and fat. However, this is only an upper layer of this diverse dessert. Studies(1) show that dark chocolate has multiple health benefits! Before you give up this calorie-dense treat for the sake of faster weight loss, consider the five amazing features it has.

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Chocolate improves metabolism

Dark chocolate has the unique ability to boost your metabolism as it is filled with monounsaturated fatty acids. Cacao beans can affect(2) the way your organism synthesizes fatty acids, and in turn, decreases the volume of carbs and fats your body absorbs.

Research(3), conducted by Nestle scientists states that chocolate can boost metabolism by affecting the level of stress hormones in the blood and by improving the diversity of gut microbiota.

Chocolate stimulates post-exercise rest

Because of its anti-inflammatory features(4), dark chocolate can help with post-workout recovery as it inhibits vascular inflammations. Some athletes say that one ounce of dark chocolate is enough to fix soreness after an intense workout in the gym. Try it and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel after exercises.

Chocolate helps with recovery after workouts
Chocolate helps with recovery after workouts

Chocolate helps deal with food cravings

According to the University of Copenhagen studies(7), dark chocolate can eliminate cravings for salty, sweet, and fatty foods as it makes you feel full. Moreover, it is more efficient than milk chocolate. Some nutritionists even recommend eating a bit of dark chocolate 20 minutes before a meal to lower your appetite.

Chocolate prevents insulin spikes

Studies(8) show that chocolate can affect insulin synthesis in the body in several ways. For example, cocoa polyphenols are known to influence insulin resistance and improve glucose tolerance. 

What’s more, because of the healthy fats in dark chocolate, the sugar it contains won’t be absorbed into the bloodstream as quickly as sugar from other sweets. This will stop the dreaded insulin spike.

Chocolate brings you joy

Scientists(5) state that those who eat dark chocolate are less stressed, sleep better, have lower levels of cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Chocolate is known to stimulate the cognitive function of the brain and improve mood. However, the systematic review(6) of surveys and studies about the influence of chocolate on the brain shows that the mechanisms of this connection are not yet well known.

Chocolate helps deal with bad mood
Chocolate helps deal with bad mood

Summing up

Dark chocolate (72% of cacao and more) is way too beneficial for your health and weight loss to cut it out completely from your diet. Especially today, when you can easily find chocolate with no added sugar and even 99% chocolate. 

Enjoy your favorite treat in moderation (no more than 28 g a day) and make your journey to the body of your dreams less stressful!

Sources

  • Katz D. L., Doughty K., Ali A. (2011, November 15). Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxidants and Redox Signaling. DOI: 10.1089/ars.2010.3697
  • Qian F., Korat A. A., Malik V., et al. (2016, August). Metabolic Effects of Monounsaturated Fatty Acid-Enriched Diets Compared With Carbohydrate or Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid-Enriched Diets in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Diabetes Care. DOI: 10.2337/dc16-0513
  • Martin F. P. J., Rezzi S., Pere-Trepat E., et al. (2009, December). Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects. Journal of Proteome Research. DOI: 10.1021/pr900607v
  • Ellinger S., Stehle P. (2016, May 26). Impact of Cocoa Consumption on Inflammation Processes—A Critical Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. DOI: 10.3390/nu8060321
  • Nehlig A. (2013, February 5). The Neuroprotective Effects of Cocoa Flavanol and Its Influence on Cognitive Performance. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x
  • Tuenter E., Foubert K., Pieters L. (2018, March 14). Mood Components in Cocoa and Chocolate: The Mood Pyramid. Planta Medica. DOI: 10.1055/a-0588-5534
  • The University of Copenhagen. (2008, December 23). Dark Chocolate Is More Filling Than Milk Chocolate And Lessens Cravings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 31, 2021 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210091039.htm
  • Shah S. R., Alweis R., Hajim N. I., et al. (2017, September 19). Use of Dark Chocolate for Diabetic Patients: A Review of the Literature and Current Evidence. Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives. DOI: 10.1080/20009666.2017.1361293