Most people have, at some point in their lives, tried to amend or improve the way they eat. And if you've been there, you know it's really hard. While good quality indulgences like chocolate (or brie or steak or even wine and beer) can wreak havoc on a diet, most experts agree a plan of total abstinence from treats isn't very realistic.
The LA Times is quick to point out that the study was underwritten by massive US chocolate maker Hershey's, but the results are still pretty interesting. In addition to the nearly 90% of respondants saying that dieters can still enjoy chocolate and lose weight, the study (opens to PDF) also said:
"• 70% noted that people can consume up to 100 calories of chocolate daily while maintaining a balanced lifestyle
• Nearly 70% agreed that people may consume 50- 100 calories of chocolate daily while on a weight loss diet
• Nearly 80% of RDs (79.1%) believe that Hershey’s chocolate can be part of a healthy diet
• More than half of RDs(52.6%) surveyed agree that eating one small piece of Hershey’s chocolate every day can help maintain a balanced lifestyle
• Nearly three quarters of RDs (72.9%) agree that milk chocolate can be part of a healthy diet"
Of course, the study isn't a big surprise if you've been following all the recent links we've posted about the health benefits of chocolate. While we can't expect to eat chocolate for every meal and remain healthy or lose weight, it seems that the relatively reasonable caloric cost of chocolate treats coupled with the many health bonuses makes it an excellent choice for people looking to eat more healthily.
Dieters, have you worked chocolate into your healthy eating plan? Do you find that looking forward to chocolate helps you stay focused on your goals?