Eating chocolate in the morning may help burn body fat, decrease glucose levels, and improved microbiome health, thanks to the flavanol content, according to a new study.
Food timing is a relevant factor in weight control. Eating at the “wrong” time could be a determining factor for the loss of synchrony between the circadian system and different metabolic processes affecting energy and adipose tissue metabolism and the obesity risk.
Recently, the team behind a study, from the University of Murcia, Spain, demonstrated that the timing of eating may change the daily rhythms of diversity and abundance of microbiota, with opposite patterns between early or late eating.
Having a high-energy and high-sugar food such as chocolate during a short-term period of two weeks in the morning or in the evening, may affect energy balance and differentially impact body weight or body fat distribution due to changes in energy intake, substrate oxidation, sleep- and circadian-related variables, or microbiota composition and their metabolic activity.
A sample of 19 postmenopausal females (aged 52 ± 4 years) with healthy BMIs from Spain completed a random trial. They were instructed to eat either 100 g of chocolate in the morning (within 1 hr after waking time) or in the evening (within 1 h before bed time) or no chocolate at all, with a duration of two weeks for each intervention and washout periods in between, for a total duration of 9 weeks.
Participants abstained from eating any other chocolate and they recorded their daily dietary intake. Measurements included body weight, waist circumference, hunger/appetite assessments, body temperature and activity, sleep duration, and cortisol measurements from saliva.
Samples were analyzed and the resulting data indicates the participants did not gain significant body weight when eating chocolate but a reduced waist circumference was noted in the group eating chocolate in the morning.
Participants were less hungry and appetite for sweets was greatly reduced when eating chocolate in the evening (EC) or the morning.
Eating chocolate in the morning also appeared to decrease fasting glucose, which the authors hypothesize that it may be due to the cocoa reducing the rate of macronutrient digestion.
Source: The FASEB Journal