Body Beat | More Good News For Chocolate | FDA Bans Trans Fats | Exercise vs Calorie Reduction In Weight Control
1. Chocolate Consumption Again Linked to Human Health
Read my lips. Eating chocolate is good for your health, according to yet another study of almost 21,000 adults living in Norfolk, England, reports Science Daily. Authors of the study reported in the journal ‘Heart’ also conducted a systematic review of international studies of links between chocolate and cardiovascular disease, involving almost 158,000 people.
The study concluded that the top fifth of chocolate eaters were 13% less likely to develop heat disease and also 23% less likely to suffer a stroke, compared to the bottom fifth of consumers, many who ate no chocolate.
One interesting finding of the study was a lack of positive correlation for consuming dark chocolate versus milk chocolate. Other studies on chocolate consumption have indicated that dark chocolate carries a high percentage of flavonoids, making it preferable from a health standpoint.
One must always consider the comparatively high calorie counts in chocolate. And if one is suffering from medical obesity, increased chocolate consumption in no way obviates the health impact of still higher levels of calorie intake.
2. To Lose Weight, Eating Less Is Far More Important Than Exercise
Writing for the New York Times, Aaron E Carroll reminded us this week that while the overall health benefits of exercise are well established, weight loss is rarely achieved from gym workouts, and especially over a span of time.
A 2012 systematic review of studies showed that over time, people generally ended by burning less energy with exercise than predicted, while increasing their calorie intake. Carroll concludes:
Exercise has a big upside for health beyond potential weight loss. Many studies and reviews detail how physical activity can improve outcomes in musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pulmonary diseases, neurological diseases and depression. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges declared it a “miracle cure” recently, and while I’m usually loath to use that term for anything in medicine, a fairly large evidence base corroborates that exercise improves outcomes in many domains.
But that huge upside doesn’t seem to necessarily apply to weight loss. The data just don’t support it. Unfortunately, exercise seems to excite us much more than eating less does.
3. US Food & Drug Administration Gives Food Producers 3 Years To Eliminate Trans Fats
The FDA ruled Tuesday that trans fat is not ‘generally recognized as safe’ for use in human food and must be eliminated from the American diet in three years. The ruling means that any use of partially hydrogenated oils, referred to as PHOs will require a special permit for use and can only be approved by the FDA.