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Articles by natural health author Sarka-Jonae Miller
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Lose Weight With Dark Chocolate and Tequila?
by Sárka-Jonae Miller
(The Best Years in Life) What could be better than chocolate and tequila as weight-loss aids? Thinking of empty calorie sources like junk food and alcohol being recommended to people wanting to shed pounds sounds like a joke, or at least too good to be true.
But, there is research to back up the claims. Dark chocolate could decrease insulin resistance, slow absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, and reduce appetite. Consuming dark chocolate reduces cravings for unhealthy foods, such as salty, fatty and sugary snacks, according to researchers from the University of Copenhagen.
A study conducted at Italy's University of L'Aquila found that people who indulged in a daily chocolate bar for 15 consecutive days saw nearly a 50 percent reduction in their potential for insulin resistance.
Dark chocolate contains healthy fats the slow sugar absorption and could stop insulin spikes responsible for shutting off the body's fat-burning powers. Insulin spikes not only lead to people feeling hungry again not long after eating, but they also lead to sugar entering fat cells.
Another study performed by Swiss scientists discovered that eating dark chocolate is linked to lower metabolic effects from stress.
However, the benefits are only attributed to dark chocolate. White chocolate and milk chocolate should still be avoided by anyone interested in weight loss. These unhealthy chocolates are loaded with extra sugar and milk. In case you didn't realize, milk contains lactose, a type of sugar.
But before you go stock up on large boxes of dark chocolate bars from Costco consider that all you need to get these positive benefits is a small piece of chocolate about the size of your thumb.
In the book Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight, neuroscientist Will Clower, PhD recommends consuming chocolate 20 minutes prior to eating lunch and dinner, as well as five minutes afterward. He states that this may decrease appetite by up to one half.
What About Tequila?
The first legal drink I had in the US was a shot of tequila. It was cheap and it burned, but I liked it. I'd love to say I lost five pounds the next day but sadly that would not be true. Thanks to a new study, I might renew the relationship with tequila I ended in college.
Researchers from a study conducted by the American Chemical Society said that agavins might assist obese individuals in losing weight as well as lower glucose levels for type 2 diabetics. Scientists gave water spiked with agavins – a type of sugar found in tequila – to rats. Two groups of rats were fed a regular diet but the group who got the agavins chose to eat less. Also, their glucose levels were lower.
Consuming agavins increases production of a hormone called GLP-1. This hormone makes food leave the stomach at a decreased rate. Essentially, consuming agavins makes you feel fuller, so you'll consume less food.
It should be noted that agavins are not in agave syrup. Agavins comes from the agave plant, which is used to make tequila. The body cannot digest these natural sugars, so they get treated like dietary fiber.
With the exception of people who are sensitive to agavins, they have no known side effects. Of course, this doesn't mean you should start taking tequila shots every time you have a bite of dark chocolate.
About the Author
Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy. Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel, Between Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's Natural Healing Tips blog or join her on Facebook and Twitter.