If you are a teenager, then you might be excited to hear this. Studies have shown that chocolate consumption in teenagers might lead to lower levels of body fat.
It showed that adolescents who consumed higher amounts of chocolate had lower body fats levels, compared to adolescents who abstained from chocolate.
A study conducted at the University of Granada in Spain revealed the effects of chocolate consumption on teenagers and found a distinct link between chocolate consumption and low body fat.
The study analyzed records of 1,458 teenagers who were between the ages of 12 and 17. It asked them to complete computer-based questionnaires that asked them to recall what they had eaten during the previous 24 hours or 2 non-consecutive days. The subjects of the study hailed from nine different European countries and the data set is considered to be especially broad.
The conclusions of the study indicated that higher chocolate intake amongest European teenagers was linked with lower levels of total fat and fat around their waist. What made these conclusions especially interesting was that exercise had little to no impact on the results. Results were assessed based on the participants' Body Mass Index, waist circumference, body fat measures and activity levels.
One of the reasons for low body fat levels is that chocolates contain good fats or monounsaturated fats (oleic acid), which reduce the absorption of sugar in the blood stream. That prevents the sudden spike in the body’s insulin level and Insulin is the primary regulator of fat storage. When insulin levels are elevated–either chronically or after a meal– it accumulates fat in the adipose tissues. When insulin levels fall, we release fat and oxidize it for fuel. This is the way chocolate might be working for teenagers.
Not just that, chocolate even contains flavonoids, which are polyphenolic compounds that have various biochemical and antioxidant properties. Flavonoids prevent the cells from the oxidative changes caused by the free radicals. These radicals are normally formed in the body by the process of breathing and from normal environmental contaminants like cigarette smoking. An increase in their production can cause low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as "bad" cholesterol, which forms plaque on the artery walls and may lead to cardiovascular diseases.
Chocolates even have an anti-inflammatory affect because they increase the growth of good microbes in the intestine which reduces inflammation. But like every other health food which is processed with sugar, chocolate too should be consumed in control. Enjoy moderate portions of chocolate (e.g., 1 ounce) a few times a week, and don’t forget to eat other flavonoid-rich foods like apples, red wine, tea, onions and cranberries.