As we watch obesity growing into our biggest health threat, we should note that the cure is not always tasteless. One of the great myths that keep people eating bad foods is that good foods taste terrible. Kitty litter mixed with bark chips, horrible tasting smoothies, and “rabbit foods” from the vegetable drawer. Yeccch! No wonder people persist with their paradigm of junk foods tasting “great”, just as the advertisements (with thin models who obviously don’t eat these products) promote.
Well here’s some good news. It turns out that chocolate can be very good for you. In a recent study performed at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. B. A. Golomb reviewed over 1,000 patient records on the effects of statin medications, and published her findings in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The question asked was “how many times a week do you eat chocolate?”. Then they calculated the BMI (body mass index). Much to their surprise, it turned out that regular chocolate intake was associated with a better BMI. While this initially sounds counter-intuitive, it does make sense in light of what is now known about the antioxidant effects of dark chocolate. The best is labelled as at least “70% cacao” on the label. Milk chocolate is usually only about 50% cacao, leaving about half sugar.
Also note that a lot of candy has artificial colors, and other chemicals to preserve or enhance their appeal. Real (dark) chocolate can be healthy if one avoids these additives. Remember that even good things need moderation and portion control. This study is not a license to omit the rest of a balanced diet just to hit the desert line. And please remember the BMI is not the only index of health and obesity. A better test is always done with a bathing suit, a full length mirror, and a bit of privacy. Does that body look about right, or is there still some fat to lose? You will see, you will know. The raw numbers of weight can be very misleading. Many elite athletes score much over the BMI “ideal” ratings, yet they are in amazingly good shape.
So as you consider fighting back against cholesterol (either in your blood levels, or on your body), remember that chocolate can do what no statins will: bring a smile to your face at dessert time!