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chocolate

Chocolate to get lean? Maybe so. Researchers at the University of Granada have shown that “higher consumption of chocolate is associated with lower levels of total fat (fat deposited all over the body) and central fat (abdominal).”

That is great news for us choco-holics; just don’t go overboard. More on that in a moment.

Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, especially catechins, which have many health properties—including antioxidant proliferation and reduction of inflammation, both of which can help reduce bellyfat.

The catechins also positively affect the stress hormone cortisol and the fat-storage hormone insulin, both of which are linked to belly fat. Get this under control, and you’ll get rid of that belly roll.

Still, you don’t want to overdo chocolate consumption, or you’ll derail the benefits. Say the researchers, “In moderate quantities, chocolate can be good for you…but you can have too much of a good thing.”

As for the best chocolate for fat-loss and health benefits, the above study, which was reported in the journal Nutrition, suggests these guidelines:

1) The darker the better (at least 60 percent cocoa).

2) Stay away from chocolate that contains soy, palm oil, natural flavor, yeast, polyglycerols and other chemicals.

3) Refined sugar is not necessary to making a great-tasting chocolate bar.

4) Preferably, cacao should be organic.

Bonus: Another study showed that eating an ounce or so of dark chocolate before a meal can curb appetite and reduce calorie consumption at the meal. So dessert before dinner gets you thinner. Nice.

—Becky Holman

www.OldSchoolNewBody.com

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