December 13, 2008
Dark Chocolate Cuts Appetite More Than Milk Chocolate

News you can use: Dark chocolate, which basically is the purer stronger chocolate with more flavonoids and other chocolate compounds, cuts appetite as compared to 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 if you are trying to cut back on your pizza eating then dark chocolate might help.

Why this result? What in chocolate cuts appetite? Anyone know of any clues?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 December 13 03:57 PM  Brain Appetite

averros said at December 13, 2008 4:23 PM:

Chocolate is known for high tryptophan content, which increases production of serotonin (which acts as a stimulant and appetite suppressant - as any user of MDMA knows); it also has lots of theobromine, a caffeine-like stimulant (the known side effect of medical use of theobromine is loss of appetite).

It seems that the boffins yet again discovered something which was known for a long time to people who don't get grants.

AS said at December 13, 2008 7:39 PM:

Doesn't fat in general reduce appetite?

xman said at December 14, 2008 2:01 AM:

Averros, no, the researchers have *confirmed* what people have suspected. This is what research is meant to do - there are are lots of things "which are known to people who don't get grants" which turn out to be completely wrong when investigated. I bet that the investigation was prompted by exactly your kind of analysis and they went out and did science to confirm it. Things that are "obvious" need to be proven just as much as things that are not.

Jake said at December 14, 2008 11:18 AM:

Milk chocolate is less effective as it has 2.5 times more carbs than dark chocolate. And carbs are an appetite stimulant.

averros said at December 16, 2008 6:04 AM:

xman: May I have a grant for investigating if the Moon isn't made from cheese? You know, these NASA guys could be wrong.

Newsflash: there's no such thing as certain knowledge about the reality. Research is all about the potential value of the possible discovery. And how much the implausible discovery that a dark chocolate is worse diet-wise than carbs-laden white chocolate would be really worth? Does anyone care?

People only do research like that because they don't have to pay for it. I'm forced to pay for this, though.

Randall Parker said at December 16, 2008 5:43 PM:


Most chocolate research in academia is funded by Mars and other chocolate makers. Most of it centers around flavonoids. But some goes into other issues related to chocolate and metabolism.

I see the same with pine bark extract research which is usually funded by the owners of the Pycnogenol trademark.

Erra said at January 29, 2009 1:53 PM:

Outside of this study, which required people to eat the same amount of light or dark chocolate, people tend to eat less dark chocolate - possibly because the flavour is more intense, and less sweet.

When I diet, I always finish my evening meal with a square of dark chocolate. I think it fulfills the subconscious expectation that the meal isn't over until you've had dessert. I also find it makes me less likely to snack in the evening.

If you're eating chocolate for the flavornoids, tryptophan or theobromine, then you're best to get as high a percent cocoa chocolate as possible. 70-80% cocoa chocolate tends to be good.

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