New York: While eating milk chocolate every day may sound like a recipe for weight gain, starting the day with a concentrated amount of chocolate may help the body burn fat and decrease blood sugar levels, finds a study.
Researchers from the Brigham collaborated with investigators at the University of Murcia in Spain, examined the effects of eating milk chocolate in morning hours on a small group of postmenopausal women.
The study published in The FASEB Journal showed that morning or nighttime chocolate intake did not lead to weight gain. On the contrary, eating chocolate in the morning or in the evening showed to influence hunger and appetite, microbiota composition, and sleep.
A high intake of chocolate during the morning hours can also help to burn fat and reduce blood glucose levels and evening or night intake of chocolate altered next-morning resting and exercise metabolism.
“Our findings highlight that not only ‘what’ but also ‘when’ we eat can impact physiological mechanisms involved in the regulation of body weight,” said Frank A.J.L. Scheer, Neuroscientist from the Department of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“Our volunteers did not gain weight despite increasing caloric intake. Our results show that chocolate reduces ad libitum energy intake, consistent with the observed reduction in hunger, appetite and the desire for sweets shown in previous studies,” said Marta Garaulet, also from the hospital.
For the study, the team conducted a randomised, controlled, cross-over trial of 19 postmenopausal women who consumed either 100g of chocolate in the morning (within one hour after waking time) or at night (within one hour before bedtime). They compared weight gain and many other measures to no chocolate intake.