Dr. Will Clower has a friend in the Easter Bunny – they both believe chocolate is good food. But Clower takes it a hop further.
He thinks chocolate can be a daily treat – one that’ll help you lose weight and get healthier.
Dr. Clower, author of Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight, does have a caveat. And it’s a caveat that can prevent cavities.
"The darker, the better… all of the good stuff in chocolate comes from one place and one place only – and that is the cocoa," he said.
According to Clower and other researchers, chocolate protects against sunburn and cancer, provides energy, stabilizes blood sugar and improves mood in addition to aiding weight loss.
In case you’re thinking, “Wow! I’ve eaten so much Hershey’s over the years, I must be the healthiest person around,” think again.
Cocoa that's 70 percent or higher is best. Hershey bars and Hershey kisses give you a smidgeon cocoa compared to the better-for-you but much less savory dark chocolate varieties.
Yet, Dr. Will Clower, a neuroscientist, has been making the media rounds by preaching that eating chocolate everyday can help you eat less.
“The amount that they’re hungry for at the plate will drop by a half to a third, and the amount that they’re hungry for — the number of between meal snacks that they have — will drop by about half,” he said.
Hmmmm… reminds me of mom saying if you eat that candy you’ll ruin your appetite!
Before you dive into some Godiva or pucker up for a few Kisses, do so knowing there are rules you’ll need to follow. Rule #1: the darker the chocolate the better.
Well, count me out. I want my milk – and chocolate, too!
Marlo Mittler, M.S., R.D., a pediatric and adolescent dietitian at Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York, notes that there have been many studies that link chocolate to health benefits.
Regular consumption of chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce cardiovascular risk, improved cholesterol and even helped to regulate insulin.
“The (chocolate) diet was developed after studies concluded that people who frequently ate chocolate have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than those who eat it less often. How is this even possible despite its sugar, fat and high caloric value?” Mittler asks in an Op-Ed piece that appeared in The New York Times.
“In fact, while no one really understands, there is reason to believe that chocolate's antioxidants and chemical components result in an increase in the body's metabolism. Keep in mind, again, it is dark chocolate that gets the accolades, and it is the frequency of chocolate consumption not the quantity. By no means does the diet suggest loading up on this sweet treat, but to work in small amounts on a regular basis.”
What it all comes down to is chocolate works best when it is part of a calorie-controlled meal plan, an exercise routine, and a strict practice of portion control.
So what have you got to lose – except maybe a few pounds and your aversion to sweet treats? We suggest you start with a balanced eDiets meal plan, and then add in your daily dose of dark chocolate.
Just be sure to keep your daily treat no larger than the end joint of your thumb.
Mr. Bad Food has made it his mission to seek out the worst of the worst foods so others can lead a healthier lifestyle. His new columns only appear here at eDiets!