Love the subject, as also love chocolate! Agree with Lynn and Micki 100% on the weight gain/weight loss analysis.
Thought I'd add some of the health benefits of eating chocolate regularly, according to an article in the Huffington Post titled 10 Health Benefits Of Chocolate.
10 benefits of chocolate, per this Post article, are:
1) Lowers risk of stroke. A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than women who treated themselves to fewer than 9 grams of the sweet stuff.
2) Boosts heart health. This is due to chocolate shown to: lower BP, lower LDL cholesterol and a lower risk of heart disease, due to its inflammation-fighting properties (especially dark chocolate) which reduce cardiovascular risk.
3) The benefit that started this blog: Helps you eat less. Because it's rich in fiber, dark chocolate can actually help keep you full, so you'll eat less, Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center and HuffPost blogger.
4) Reduces risk of diabetes. A small Italian study from 2005 found that regularly eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing risk for diabetes.
5) Can protect skin. Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. The type of antioxidants called flavonoids found in dark chocolate offer some protection from UV damage from the sun.
6) Can quiet coughs. An ingredient in chocolate called theobromine seems to reduce activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that triggers hard-to-shake coughs. In late 2010, the BBC reported that scientists were investigating creating a drug containing theobromine to preplace cough syrups containing codeine, which can have risky side effects.
7) Can boost mood. Indulging every once in a while feels great. So chocolate eaters report feeling less stressed.
8) Improves blood flow. Cocoa has anti-clotting, blood-thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin, which can improve blood flow and circulation.
9) Improves vision. Because of chocolate's ability to improve blood flow, in particular to the brain, researchers at the University of Reading hypothesized in a small 2011 study that chocolate may also increase blood flow to the retina, thereby giving vision a boost.
10) It makes you smarter. That boost of blood flow to the brain created by cocoa's flavanols seems to make people feel more awake and alert, and, in a small British study, perform better on counting tasks.
Mary Ann Hodorowicz, RD, CDE, MBA, Certified Endocrinology Coder
PresentDiabetes Author of MNT and DSMT Reimbursement Audio Lectures
Eat Well, Laugh Often, Love Much