Chocolate Cake
A waitress poses with a cake decorated with a goat-shaped chocolate, which is painted with edible gold powder, to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, during a photo opportunity at a bakery of Kerry Hotel in Beijing, February 12, 2015. Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

The chocolate cake is considered a sinful food, bad especially for diabetics and people with weight problems. But a new study recommends eating the delicious and mouth-watering dessert for breakfast to help lose weight.

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The research, led by Professor Daniela Jakubowicz of Tel Aviv University, gives two reasons why the to-die-for-dessert chocolate cake should be eaten during breakfast, reports The Telegraph. First, because the body’s metabolism is most active in the morning, breakfast is the best time to eat sweets since the body has the rest of the day to burn it. Second, eating chocolate, along with proteins and carbs, helps stem the sweet tooth craving for sugary food.

For the study, the researchers recruited 193 non-diabetic, obese adults who were divided into two groups. One group was given a low-carb diet made up of a 300-calories breakfast, and the other group was given a balanced 600-calorie breakfast with a chocolate cake dessert.

At week 16, halfway through the 32-week study, the average weight loss of both groups was 33 pounds per member. However, at the end of 32 weeks, Group 1 members regained an average of 22 pounds, while Group 2 members, who had chocolate cake daily, lost an average of 15 pounds, or a total of about 40 pounds.

Jakubowicz explains that despite both groups consuming the same daily total calories of 1,600 for men and 1,400 for women, members of Group 1 had less satisfaction and felt they were not full. Because their cravings for carbs and sugars became more intense, they cheated on their diet plan, causing them to regain lost weight. “But the group that consumed a bigger breakfast, including dessert, experienced few if any cravings for these foods later in the day,” the professor adds.

Jakubowicz stresses that attempting to avoid sweets entirely could create psychological addiction to those sinful treats in the long-term. The study, published in Steroids journal, points out that ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger, is most successfully regulated at breakfast.

In The Telegraph’s online poll at the end of the article, it shows that chocolate cake-lovers outnumber kale-lovers since 88 percent say that the mouth-watering dessert is good for the body, while only 12 percent prefer the kale for breakfast. The study, however, used non-diabetic respondents which suggest that people with glucose impairment problems may need to look for sugar-free chocolate cakes to benefit from the good effects of the favourite dessert. Otherwise, they could risk “death-by-chocolate cake.”

Besides the benefits cited by the Tel Aviv University study, Cleveland Clinic lists notes that chocolate is also good for the heart because it uses as key ingredient cocoa beans which are rich in flavonoids, a nutrient. Flavonoids help protect plants from environmental toxins and repair damage. Eating food rich in that nutrient would benefit from its antioxidant power which helps the body cells resist damage caused by free radicals.

Other benefits from flavonoids include lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the heart and brain and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot. Besides chocolates, other food rich in that nutrient are red wine, tea, onions, peanuts, apples and cranberries.