Lose Weight? Eat More Chocolate.

Are you ready for this?  A study last year found that eating chocolate twice a week helped participants lower their BMI more than people who didn't.

No joke.  CBS News reports that the participants -- 1,000 people free of heart disease, diabetes or cholesterol problems, and average age 57 -- enrolled in a study that measured the effects of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, "but for this study researchers assigned them questionnaires that gauged how often participants chowed down on chocolate."

But -- and here's the best part.  Those who ate chocolate two times a week did lower their BMIs but those who ate chocolate more often than that had even smaller BMIs.  Don't believe it?  It's true.  My husband, the dentist, who consumes a pound bag of M&Ms a night, will be happy to hear this.

"Even though chocolate can be loaded with calories, it's full of antioxidants and other ingredients that may promote weight loss," CBS News quotes the researchers.  

"I was pretty happy with this news myself," study author Dr. Beatrice Golomb, associate professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego, told USA Today. "Findings show the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining ultimate weight."

So should we all run out and pile our shopping carts with M&Ms, Hershey bars and Tootsie Rolls (do they even make those anymore?)?   "It is not a siren call to go out and eat 20 pounds of chocolate a day," Golomb told HealthDay, CBS News recounts.  Rats.

In 2011 another study of more than 100,000 people found those who ate the most chocolate were "39 percent less likely to get heart disease and 29 percent less likely to have a stroke, HealthPop reported," CBS News recalls. Months later a 10-year study of 33,000 women found a 30 percent reduced risk of stroke among chocaholics.

With every silver cloud, though, there comes a dark lining.  And here it is.  The kind of chocolate is what matters. Experts advise dark chocolate (the more cacao the better, because its bitterness will not make you want to pig out).  Some -- probably the M&Ms, Hershey Bars and Tootsie Rolls -- could contain lots of sugar and calories, which could lead to other health issues if consumed daily, and their sweetness makes you just want to eat more.

Oh, well.  Sounded good for a while.

You did have to exercise 3.5 times per week, in addtion.


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