Rural Grenada Villa
Good news for chocoholics - Rural Granada Villas White villages with backdrop of Sierra Nevada

At last, some good news for chocoholics has come from a study at Granada University. Higher chocolate consumption has been associated with lower levels of total fat (fat deposits all over the body) and abdominal fat, independent of physical activity levels and diet, according to a new study published in the journal Nutrition.

University of Granada researchers studied the eating habits and lifestyles of 1,458 European adolescents ages 12 to 17 years to determine whether greater chocolate consumption was associated with higher body mass index (BMI) and other indicators of total and central body fat. Results showed that a higher level of chocolate consumption was linked to lower levels of total and central fat when these were estimated through BMI, body fat percentage (measured by both skinfolds and bioelectrical impedance analysis) and waist circumference. The results were independent of the participant's sex, age, sexual maturation, total energy intake, intake of saturated fats, fruit and vegetables, consumption of tea and coffee and physical activity.

The effect could be partly due to the influence of catechins on cortisol production and on insulin sensitivity, both of which are related to overweight and obesity.

Although chocolate is considered a high energy-content food—rich in sugars and saturated fats—“recent studies in adults suggest chocolate consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiometabolic disorders," said Magdalena Cuenca-García, lead author of the study.

In fact, chocolate is rich in flavonoids—especially catechins—which have many healthy properties, including "antioxidant, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive effects and can help prevent ischemic heart disease," Cuenca-García said.

source: and University of Granada

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