Remember those old ads pushing the breakfast of champions? Well, my friend, forget the Wheaties. Because new research reveals a much healthier and far more delicious way to start your day.
It’s not just something you’d never expect. To be honest, it sounds a bit like “junk food” at first. Or maybe what a kid might sneak for breakfast when mom’s not looking.
But this “junk food” is actually a potent health elixir if you use it right. And ladies, if you’re in your Golden Years, the new study shows how to truly maximize the benefits of this delicious treat.
So break out the chocolate while I share the latest research on this candy aisle king.
But wait, don’t eat it yet. Because, as you’ll see in a moment, timing is everything when it comes to getting the most health benefits from consuming cocoa.
MILK chocolate just got a makeover
By now, most folks have heard something about chocolate having some health benefits. (Check out these 4 healthy reasons to give someone you love some chocolate today.)
And you may even know that high-quality DARK chocolate is considered more than just junk food these days. After all, it’s loaded with antioxidants and other powerful nutrients.
But this new study didn’t test the dark stuff. Instead, it looked at the kind most of us think is off-limits. You know, the plain milk chocolate that everyone loves but isn’t supposed to be good for you.
A group of senior women was recruited for the study. For the first two weeks, the ladies ate milk chocolate in the morning when they first rolled out of bed. They then took two weeks off before switching it up. For the second two-week block, they ate their chocolate in the evening before bed.
And here’s the incredible thing. The volunteers weren’t eating just a little square of chocolate. They were gobbling down 100 grams of the delicious treat. That’s roughly two standard Hershey bars (a bit MORE, in fact).
But despite eating a LOT of chocolate – more than 50 Hershey-sized bars over four weeks – the women didn’t gain weight during either part of the study.
That alone is pretty awesome. Although I wouldn’t recommend eating nearly that amount of chocolate… there’s far too much sugar in it… it does mean treating yourself from time to time won’t make you fat.
YES, cocoa CAN enhance your HEALTH
But as fantastic as that finding is, it’s not the most important part of the study.
As I mentioned earlier when you eat your chocolate matters. When the volunteers had those chocolate bars in the morning, they enjoyed two unexpected health-boosting benefits:
- They had BETTER blood sugar control
- They BURNED FAT more efficiently
In both cases – morning or night – eating chocolate reduced cravings for other sweets (especially at night), which could curb overeating. So if you have a sweet tooth of your own, chocolate could be an excellent way to scratch that itch without turning to something completely unhealthy.
Of course, I’d still argue that eating dark chocolate is even better for you. Studies show that the antioxidants in dark cocoa can help protect against heart disease, dementia, and more. And as I said earlier, two Hershey bar-sized servings a day is a bit excessive.
But overall, this research proves indulging in some chocolate simply isn’t the bad habit it’s often made out to be. And if you do it right, you can actually enjoy some pretty impressive health benefits, too.
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