You knew there was a justification for your 3 p.m. chocolate bar. A new study has shown a link between a lower body mass index (BMI) and chocolate consumption. (Hallelujah!)
Researchers studied how much participants ate in a week, as well as their mood and exercise habits. The results: Those who ate chocolate two times a week excercised about three times per week for at least 20 minutes, and those who ate it more frequently had lower BMIs than those who ate it less regularly.
Chocolate (already known for its health benefits) may be a good indulgence, but the authors say that chocolate lovers didn't have necessarily the best healthy habits. Those who ate chocoalte more had a higher saturated fat intake and weren't necessarily eating their daily servings of fruit and veggies. And there's a big difference between frequency and amount: those who ate larger servings of chocolate didn't have lower BMIs as a result.
Why the sudden cause for chocoholics to rejoice? Chocolate's chock-full of antioxidants, which could relieve some oxidative stress on the body's cells. It could be that it may be as simple as the full factor, said Dr. David Katz to the Huffington Post. He said, "It may be that people who make it a regular part of their routine know that it really gets the job done... They think 'If I need a bit of pleasure, I'm not going to try and eat 11 other things first.'"