If you believe in a Deity, signs of His or Her presence are abundant.
Climbing over the horizon in the east as night gives birth to morning, the scenic tapestry of golds, reds, blues, and yellows can be nothing less than the orchestration of colors conducted by a Divine Being. When the non-embarrassed, joyfully infused, uninhibited laughter of a baby bursts forth and fills your ears and heart, have you any choice but to believe that is the voice of God? Surviving a catastrophic accident unscathed or recovering from the abyss of a life-threatening illness will bolster the faith of almost any non-believer.
Should those illustrations not be enough to persuade you of the loving omnipotence of an all-powerful benevolent Spirit, I present to you definitive proof:
According to a recent study, people who ate chocolate a few times per week (or more) weighed less than those who rarely indulged in the sweet.
Let’s make sure you read that correctly. Chocolate lovers weighed LESS than those who consumed the sweet brown Gift From Heavens less often. I understand that this column you are reading is first appearing in proximate to April Fool’s day, yet rest assured I am not punking you.
Oft times, it has been my perception that if God wanted us to lose weight, He would have made celery a comfort food. However, the next best thing would be tying chocolate to successful dieting. Ask, and ye shall receive!
Before preparing a three-pound chocolate-chip, triple-decker, platter-sized brownie for the family dinner, you do need the full context.
Some researchers think that the antioxidants in chocolate could be a reason why health benefits (including lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as decreased body weight) are more common in chocolate eaters than their counterparts.
This is because Dr. Beatrice Golomb and colleagues from the University of California, San Diego (who might all be nominated for sainthood if dieters have their say) used data from a study on cholesterol-lowering drugs, surveying about 1,000 adults on what they ate. One of the factors was how often they ate chocolate.
What they discovered was that the folks who ate it with greater frequency indeed consumed more calories and saturated fat overall, than those who went light on the candy. (Duh!) Yet, despite that, chocolate lovers tended to weight about five to seven pounds less, even after taking into consideration age, gender, and exercise level.
BUT — you knew there was a “but,” didn’t you? — researchers only monitored how often, not how much, chocolate was consumed. Golomb and crew did note that past studies have tied chocolate to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and better insulin sensitivity, possibly because of antioxidants or other chemicals in cocoa.
Of course, there are party poopers, pointing out alternate explanations for the results. For example, Eric Ding, from Harvard Medical School, told Reuters Health, that it could be that “people who lost weight reward themselves with chocolate, more than chocolate causing the weight loss,” implying that it’s a thinner group eating the chocolate in the first place. Also, it’s important to note that the study is relatively small and it’s hard to take any lessons away from the findings, according to Ding.
Both researchers agreed that moderation is important. “If you consume chocolate, consume it in place of something else, rather than adding to your net daily calories (and) try to consume dark chocolate,” Ding said.
Alas, it’s back to the celery, albeit maybe I’ll start dipping it in dark chocolate.
To hear the background story on this column and to listen to the podcast, follow this link.
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