Dark chocolate can lower the craving for fatty foods, sweet, and salty treats due to increased satiety and reducing the desire to eat more.
When it comes to choosing between dark chocolate and milk chocolate, we know it is much healthier to eat dark chocolate.
Studies have shown that dark chocolate, due to its high cacao content, can boost attention and increase people alertness.
A study conducted by Professor Larry Stevens and colleagues found that dark chocolate helps with relaxation, lowers blood pressure and improves heart health.
A Danish study suggests that dark chocolate is far more beneficial than milk chocolate in reducing appetite.
So, if you want to keep your weight down over the holidays, then dark chocolate for desserts might not be a bad idea as it gives a feeling of fullness with satisfaction.
Researchers looked at the effect of milk and dark chocolate on appetite and calorie intake on a group of young, healthy men with normal weight.
Participants fasted for 12 hours and then ate 100g of dark chocolate or milk chocolate in two separate sessions.
Their satiety, hunger, and cravings for special foods were recorded for 5 hours after eating each type of chocolate.
150 minutes after consuming either dark or milk chocolate, they were given pizza and asked to eat until they felt full.
The results showed that eating dark chocolate beforehand reduced their appetite and calorie intake by 17 percent, meaning they ate significantly less pizza.
The participants also reported that after eating dark chocolate they craved less salty, fatty foods or sweets.
Unsweetened dark chocolate with more than 60 percent cacao also contains healthy fats and antioxidants.
Professor Stevens, said:
“People don’t generally eat chocolate and think it’s going to be healthy for them.
A regular chocolate bar with high sugar and milk content won’t be as good, it’s the high-cacao content chocolate that can be found from most manufacturers that will have these effects.”
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The dark chocolate study on appetite was published in Nutrition and Diabetes (Sørensen & Astrup, 2011).