I present you the best and greatest news of the century friends, eating chocolate can help you lose weight!
Scientists have discovered that chocolate could help prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes. Our beloved research geeks (you have to love them) found an antioxidant in cocoa that prevented mice from gaining weight and also reduced their sugar levels in their blood.
Apparently, it is all because of flavonoids (see explanation further down). The scientists fed 3 groups of mice with 3 different diets – one high in fat content, one low in fat and one high in fat supplementing it with different types of flavonoids. What they found is that the high-fat diet with the added compound of oligomeric procyanidins (PC) had a better effect on keeping weight low for mice.
They also improved in glucose tolerance, which could help prevent type 2 diabetes. It appears that PC oligomers have the best bioactivities of cocoa flavanols against obesity and diabetes when given in small doses!
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What are flavonoids?
Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites designed to provide health benefits through cell signalling pathways and antioxidant effects. The abundance of flavonoids along with their low toxicity with respect to other plant compounds means they can be ingested in large quantities by animals, including humans. Examples of foods that are rich in flavonoids include onions, parsley, blueberries, bananas, black chocolate and red wine. (More on wine another day)
Benefits of oligomeric proanthocyanidins?
Evidence suggests that dietary polyphenols, flavonoids and proanthocyanidins in particular offer important benefits for cardiovascular health. Proanthocyanidin has preventive actions on diseases such as arteriosclerosis, gastric ulcer, cancer of the large intestine, cataracts and diabetes. In humans also has been shown to have preventive effects on the increase of lipid peroxides in human plasma after exercise and on muscle fatigue after training.
In another study, our beloved geeks from the University of L’Aquila in Italy found that people who ate the value of 2 units of dark chocolate once a day for 15 consecutive days decreased their potential for insulin resistance in almost 50%.
Researchers confirm that flavonoids reduce insulin resistance. Sue DeCotiis, a weight loss doctor, reports that dark chocolate contains healthy fats and because of our slow human absorption of sugar in our bloodstream, which is a lethal and direct sugar intake to our fat cells. She states that “as insulin spikes turn off the mechanisms that burn fat in your body, this makes you hungry constantly.” Insulin peaks can also lead the body to insulin resistance and diabetes.
Friends, this could not be better news! Swiss scientists have discovered that black chocolate reduces the effects of stress, and the University of Copenhagen has shown that eating dark chocolate reduces cravings, decreases appetite, improves thinking and lowers blood pressure.
Remember, however, we are talking about dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. Black chocolate has less added sugar, contains monounsaturated fatty acids and has a bittersweet flavour that reduces the amount you eat. Eat only a small part, roughly the size of your thumb. Milk chocolate or white chocolate do not work … I know, too bad! We know that life is not perfect.
This week’s guest writer is Jessie Ann Arthurs; Pilates teacher, masseur, former dancer and physical trainer. Fond of everything with everything to do with well-being, traveling and happiness.