Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lose Weight Eating Chocolate?

Most people think that eating chocolate is counterproductive to losing weight. Historically, this has been true. The chocolate we are accustomed to eating has been heated, processed, and alkalized.

Heating chocolate by itself denatures 80% of its nutritional value, stripping most of the antioxidants away. Couple the heating process with the addition of fats, processed sugar, and preservatives and you turn a naturally healthful ingredient into junk food. Conventional chocolate products promote weight gain, not loss.

Recent research studies have confirmed the nutritional value of unprocessed dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is full of flavonoids, which are loaded with antioxidants. They have been referred to as "nature's biological response modifiers" because of strong experimental evidence of their ability to positively affect the body's reaction to allergens, viruses, and carcinogens (cancer causing). Therefore, flavonoids demonstrate anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-microbial and anti-cancer activity.(1)

After ingesting flavonoids there appears to be a huge increase in antioxidant capacity. This effect is not directly caused by the flavonoids themselves, but is most likely due to increased uric acid levels that result from expelling flavonoids from the body.(2) Since flavonoids can be bitter, they are usually removed from chocolate.(3) In the process, the nutritional value is stripped away.

Cacao (cocoa), the major ingredient of dark chocolate, contains high amounts of a substance called Epicatechin. It improves blood flow and has been found to have nearly twice the antioxidant content of red wine and up to three times that of green tea in-vitro tests. (4,5)

There is a way to enjoy eating chocolate and benefiting from its natural nutrient qualities at the same time. Instead of heating, alkalizing, adding fats, and a lot of sugar, one chocolate company has completely focused its efforts on producing "healthy chocolate."

The company, Xocai, is a division of MXI Corp. based in Reno, Nevada. They utilize all natural unprocessed pure cacao powder combined with the acai berry and blueberry for added taste. Instead of heating the cacao powder, it is cold pressed. The products are loaded with antioxidant rich flavonoids, high fiber, and low in sugar. They are safe for diabetics as well as vegetarians and vegans. In fact, Cacao and the acai berry are the two richest sources of antioxidants known.

You're probably asking, where does weight loss fit into the picture? A recent study from Japanese researchers found that cocoa acts as an appetite suppressant with potential mood and energy elevating chemicals, which contribute to weight loss.

It is my opinion that the reason many people lose weight with healthy chocolate is that it is providing super dense nutrient content. As a result, it is satisfying a lot of the "nutrient cravings" we often fill with calorie rich junk food. A lot of junk food provides minimal nutrient quality per serving, so we have to eat more to satisfy our nutritional requirements. The denser the nutrient value per serving, the less volume we need to provide adequate nutrition.

This does not take into account that some authorities claim that dark chocolate has an appetite suppressing affect. My assessment may provide a reason for this phenomenon.

There are tens of thousands of people who have made Xocai healthy chocolate part of their daily dietary regimen. There are many positive testimonials from the product users, and a lot of anecdotal proof, not to mention scientific evidence that healthy chocolate has many positive health implications.

1.Therapeutic potential of inhibition of the NF-B pathway in the treatment of inflammation and cancer. Yamamoto and Gaynor 107 (2): 135 -- Journal of Clinical Investigation.

2. "Studies force new view on biology of flavonoids", by David Stauth, EurekAlert!. Adapted from a news release issued by Oregon State University. URL accessed .

3. Editorial. 'The devil in the dark chocolate.' The Lancet. 2007; 370:2070

4. J. Agric.Food Chem. (2003) 51: Lee et al.

5. Cocoa nutrient for 'lethal ills'. BBC News.

Author: Dr. Randall Roth earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Biology and a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Logan College of Chiropractic in Chesterfield, Missouri. He was also a personal trainer prior to becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Roth is passionate about health and nutrition and sharing information with others. He currently lives in Plano, TX with his wife and three children.

To learn more about Losing weight, click here to visit Dr. Roth's Healthy Chocolate website

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