The The only chocolate considered nutritionally healthy is the one that contains from 70% cocoa in the mix. However, this ‘dark chocolate’ is not the most consumed, among other reasons for its bitter taste to which the palate has to get used to. The milk chocolate, on the other hand, is more palatable and therefore leads sales, Despite the fact that it contains approximately 45% cocoa and the rest of sugar.úcar, which prevents it from being classified as healthy.
As it is the most consumed type of chocolate, however, researchers Led by the professor of the University of Murcia (UMU) Marta Garaulet and Dr. Frank AJL Scheer, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has addressed its effects on metabolism in postmenopausal women according to the time it is taken. The results of the study have been published in The Faseb journal.
“From previous studies we know that Mealtime is a synchronizer of internal clocks associated with obesityTherefore, the starting hypothesis was that, depending on the time of intake, chocolate would have a different effect on appetite and other factors related to body weight ”, explains Marta Garaulet.
The conclusions have been obtained after a randomized crossover study among women who during a period of 14 days they drank milk chocolate during the first hour after waking up (morning), for another 14 days they drank it during the hour before sleeping (night) and they also maintained a third period of 14 days in which they did not drink chocolate, randomly, and with a rest week between each experimental condition.
During the study, all the participants consumed 100 grams of milk chocolate at the indicated time, which represents an extra 542 kilocalories over their usual diet. The recommendation for daily energy consumption for an adult is 2,000 kcal on average, ingested with food that should provide other essential micronutrients. Although in a lower concentration than black, “this chocolate also has caffeine, theobromine, polyphenols and tannins, active principles with beneficial antioxidant effects“, Specify the authors.
The caloric balance was problematic, since a decrease in cravings for sweets was detected during the day, equivalent to “300 kilocalories if the chocolate is consumed in the morning and 150 kilocalories if it is taken at night.” But nevertheless, these figures “in no case compensate the 542 kilocalories ingested with chocolate”, so the antiobesogenic action should be found elsewhere.
Thus, the researchers found that si the chocolate is taken in the morning, in the period of 14 days it is observed that reduces fasting glucose -blood sugar- by 4.5%, while fat oxidation increases by 26% and abdominal circumference is reduced by 2%. “In other words, drinking chocolate in the morning helps lower blood sugar and promotes the mobilization of body fat,” they say.
If chocolate is taken at night, on the other hand, metabolic changes occur such as increasing spontaneous physical activity by 7%. In addition, it also increases heat dissipation after meals by 1.3%, so “with the same amount of intake, less energy accumulates ”, they maintain. On the other hand, it also increases carbohydrate oxidation by 35%, which means that the body chooses sugars to a greater extent to obtain the necessary energy.
“All these effects of drinking chocolate in the morning translate into the reduction of the waist, something that attracts attention especially taking into account the high consumption of kilocalories represented by the one hundred grams of chocolate per day, ”says Teresa Hernández-González. In addition, changes have been observed in the intestinal microbiota that could reflect an antiobesogenic effect, something that has been observed especially in the mornings