The dark chocolate version of Father Christmas is most filling

December 10, 2008

New research at the Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at the University of Copenhagen – shows that dark chocolate is far more filling than milk chocolate, lessening our craving for sweet, salty and fatty foods. In other words, eating dark chocolate may be an efficient way to keep your weight down over Christmas.

We have known for a long time that it is healthier to eat dark chocolate, but now scientists at the Department of Human Nutrition at LIFE, University of Copenhagen, have found that dark chocolate also gives more of a feeling of satiety than milk chocolate.

To compare the effects of dark and milk chocolate on both appetite and subsequent calorie intake, 16 young and healthy men of normal weight who all liked both dark and milk chocolate took part in a so-called crossover experiment. This meant that they reported for two separate sessions, the first time testing the dark chocolate, and the second time the milk chocolate.

They had all fasted for 12 hours beforehand and were offered 100g of chocolate, which they consumed in the course of 15 minutes. The calorific content was virtually the same for the milk and dark chocolate.

During the following 5 hours, participants were asked to register their appetite every half hour, i.e. their hunger, satiety, craving for special foods and how they liked the chocolate.

Two and a half hours after eating the chocolate, participants were offered pizza ad lib.
They were instructed to eat until they felt comfortably satiated. After the meal, the individuals' calorie intake was registered.

The results were significant. The calorie intake at the subsequent meal where they could eat as much pizza as they liked was 15 per cent lower when they had eaten dark chocolate beforehand.
The participants also stated that the plain chocolate made them feel less like eating sweet, salty or fatty foods.

So apart from providing us with the healthier fatty acids and many antioxidants, dark chocolate can now also help us steer clear of all the sweet, salty and fattening Christmas foods.

Source: University of Copenhagen

Explore further: Bitter tastes quickly turn milk chocolate fans sour

Related Stories

Lead and cadmium found in some chocolate bought in Brazil

September 3, 2014

Scientists have found that commercial samples of chocolate purchased in Brazil contain varying levels of lead and cadmium, which can cause health problems, and that those levels are linked to how much cocoa a product contains. ...

Researchers solve mystery of Lincoln's funeral train

April 26, 2013

With the 2015 sesquicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's death approaching, interest in it is rising, and with new scientific tools, UA researchers have turned their attention to one of the last remaining mysteries about what ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.