Unexpected Benefits to Starting the Day Off With Chocolate

Woman Eating Chocolate

Eating milk chocolate every day may sound like a recipe for weight gain, but a new study of postmenopausal women has found that eating a concentrated amount of chocolate during a narrow window of time in the morning may help the body burn fat and decrease blood sugar levels.

To find out about the effects of eating milk chocolate at different times of day, researchers from the Brigham collaborated with investigators at the University of Murcia in Spain. Together, they conducted a randomized, 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.

Researchers report that among the women studied:

  • Morning or nighttime chocolate intake did not lead to weight gain;
  • Eating chocolate in the morning or in the evening can influence hunger and appetite, microbiota composition, sleep, and more;
  • A high intake of chocolate during the morning hours could help to burn fat and reduce blood glucose levels.
  • Evening/night 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 Scheer.

“Our volunteers did not gain weight despite increasing caloric intake. Our results show that chocolate reduced ad libitum energy intake, consistent with the observed reduction in hunger, appetite, and the desire for sweets shown in previous studies,” said Garaulet.

Reference: “Timing of chocolate intake affects hunger, substrate oxidation, and microbiota: A randomized controlled trial” by Teresa Hernández-González, Rocío González-Barrio, Carolina Escobar, Juan Antonio Madrid, Maria Jesús Periago, Maria Carmen Collado, Frank A. J. L. Scheer and Marta Garaulet, 23 June 2021, The FASEB Journal.
DOI: 10.1096/fj.202002770RR

Frank A. J. L. Scheer, PhD, MSc, Neuroscientist and Marta Garaulet, PhD, Visiting Scientist, both of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Drs. Scheer and Garaulet are co-corresponding authors of this new paper published in The FASEB Journal.

11 Comments on "Unexpected Benefits to Starting the Day Off With Chocolate"

  1. … would the result change if test subjects used dark chocolate instead of the milk chocolate…

  2. Clyde Spencer | July 3, 2021 at 2:08 pm | Reply

    The woman in the picture doesn’t look post-menopausal! Is she just click-bait, or do you really believe she is representative of the 19 PM women who participated in the study?

  3. Milk chocolate has a boar load of calories and is one of the worst foods for oral health too. I don’t believe anything this study says.. Use your head people.

  4. Not sure about this Scitechdaily.com article. There are scant details about the study, so lacking in fact, that I will have to block scitechdaily.com from my feeds.

  5. Is very great, just started it yesterday and found good.

  6. Darlene Jennings | July 7, 2021 at 8:51 pm | Reply

    I find eating chocolate make me sleep better at night

  7. Here is the link to the actual study
    DOI: 10.1096/fj.202002770RR
    It’s given in the article

  8. I always crave chocolate in the mornings, not at night. The moral of the story: listen to your body!
    Also: looks like the French were right all along. A less welcome finding 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🤣

  9. How come the article didnt mention how evening/night chocolate affected next morning resting and exercise metabolism? So, whichbis better, eating chocolate in the morning or in the evening?

  10. I don’t know about milk chocolate, but I have read dark chocolate is beneficial for your health with low sugar.

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