One of the things people often believe they have to give up when they are watching their weight is chocolate. However, the authors of The Chocolate Diet say, 'We have good news for you – eating chocolate can actually help you lose weight'. This book is backed by research and makes an interesting read, especially for chocolate lovers.
According to the authors, Drs Ashton and Stojanovska, the consumption of a small quantity of good quality dark chocolate can be part of a healthy diet, even for a person trying to lose weight.
Dr Lily Stojanovska is an Australian doctor who has been involved in medical research and teaching nutrition and women's health for over 25 years. Fellow writer, Australian Dr John Ashton has been involved in health and nutrition research for over 25 years.
In my article, I use the word chocolate to refer to good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa or above). Hint, compare the amount of sugar between brands as some are lower than others.
What does chocolate contain? Chocolate contains a number of minerals including magnesium, iron and chromium. Never heard of chromium? Wondering what it does? Chromium is involved in metabolising blood sugar and can help protect against developing diabetes.
The phytochemical theobromine found in chocolate:
increases muscle stimulation
decreases cholesterol levels
widens the blood vessels
reduces blood pressure
reduces the incidence of stroke and cardiovascuar disease
Chocolate also contains antioxidants, including epicatechin which speeds up the body's rate of burning fat. In addition, chocolate is an excellent source of various minerals and vitamins. It contains compounds that help with the production of the mood altering chemicals that make a person feel happier.
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The Chocolate Diet includes detailed sections on how to lose weight, such as chapters on 'Helping reduce our appetite' and 'Understanding why we gain weight'.
Chocolate fact There is a fact about chocolate at the end of each chapter, an example being, 'Pure cocoa and dark chocolate have a high concentration of catechinins and procyanidins, bioactive compounds that may have beneficial health effects against chronic inflammation, risk factors for cancer and other chronic diseases.'
Other information The Chocolate Diet also has recipes and a useful 14 day meal planner, including some meals for vegetarians. The planner allows 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. Each day 2 squares of dark chocolate are included in the meal plan.
The Chocolate Diet is printed by Harper Collins and can be bought from a bookstore or online. It can also be downloaded online. I got my copy from the library.