Prepare yourself for the best news you will hear all day: eating chocolate can help you lose weight.
Oh yes, our dark and mysterious confectionery friend can help dieters shed pounds.
A YouGov survey, polling 2,100 dieters nationwide, reveals that 86% of dieters lost enough weight to improve their health whilst continuing to eat chocolate and other treats.
A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke
than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams of the sweet stuff.
Kohei Hara via Getty Images
Because it's rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you'll eat less, Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center and HuffPost blogger told The Huffington Post
. Regular chocolate eaters might do themselves a favor by treating themselves to a bite instead of snacking on "11 other things first" he said.
Dark chocolate does the trick much better than milk, according to a small study from the University of Copenhagen, and may even reduce cravings
for sweet, salty and fatty foods.
Katerina Nanopoulou via Alamy
Forget what you've heard about chocolate causing breakouts: Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. The type of antioxidants called flavonoids found in dark chocolate offer some protection from UV damage
from the sun. And no, that does not mean you can skip the sunscreen!
Andrew Harding via Jupiter Images
Jamie Grill via Getty Images
Because of chocolate's ability to improve blood flow, in particular to the brain, researchers at the University of Reading hypothesized in a small 2011 study that chocolate may also increase blood flow to the retina
, thereby giving vision a boost.
That boost of blood flow to the brain created by cocoa's flavanols seems to make people feel more awake and alert, and, in a small British study, perform better on counting tasks
An astounding 91% of slimmers who lost 10% of their body weight, did so whilst still eating chocolate as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Of those who lost the most weight, 91% of those polled did so whilst still eating chocolate as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Janet Aylott, nutrition scientist and expert for Nutracheck (who commissioned the research, says “Extensive research has proven that diets centred around food elimination are much more likely to fail. The key is to take a more relaxed approach and to have a little of what you like."
Find out more about calorie counter and food diary Nutracheck.