Eating dark chocolate at Christmas can help prevent over-eating
22 December 2008
New research at the Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at the University
of Copenhagen shows that dark chocolate is far more filling than milk
chocolate, lessening our craving for sweet, salty and fatty foods. In
other words, eating dark chocolate may be an efficient way to keep your
weight down over Christmas.
We have known for a long time that it is healthier to eat dark
chocolate, but now scientists at the Department of Human Nutrition at
LIFE, University of Copenhagen, have found that dark chocolate also
gives more of a feeling of satiety than milk chocolate.
To compare the effects of dark and milk chocolate on both appetite
and subsequent calorie intake, 16 young and healthy men of normal weight
who all liked both dark and milk chocolate took part in a so-called
crossover experiment. This meant that they reported for two separate
sessions, the first time testing the dark chocolate, and the second time
the milk chocolate.
They had all fasted for 12 hours beforehand and were offered 100g of
chocolate, which they consumed in the course of 15 minutes. The
calorific content was virtually the same for the milk and dark
During the following 5 hours, participants were asked to register
their appetite every half hour, ie their hunger, satiety, craving for
special foods and how they liked the chocolate.
Two and a half hours after eating the chocolate, participants were
offered pizza ad lib. They were instructed to eat until they felt
comfortably satiated. After the meal, the individuals’ calorie intake
The results were significant. The calorie intake at the subsequent
meal where they could eat as much pizza as they liked was 15 per cent
lower when they had eaten dark chocolate beforehand.
The participants also stated that the plain chocolate made them feel
less like eating sweet, salty or fatty foods.
So apart from providing us with the healthier fatty acids and many
antioxidants, dark chocolate can now also help us steer clear of all the
sweet, salty and fattening Christmas foods.
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