Are you depriving yourself of chocolate for fear of putting on weight? A new study featured on The Huffington Post reveals that there may be nothing to be afraid of, as chocolate has been linked to lower levels of total and abdominal fat in teens.

Researchers from the University of Granada analyzed data on 1,458 teens aged 12 to 17 who participated in a Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence study. The research team found that those who ate more chocolate had lower levels of total and abdominal fat compared with those who ate less. The results rang true across different markers of fatness like body mass index and weight circumference.

According to the study, this may be attributed to the flavonoids found in chocolate, which, researcher Magdalena Cuenca-Garcia says, may have “important antioxidant, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory, and antihypertensive effects that can help prevent ischemic heart disease.” These effects are not only evident in teens, but in adults as well.

Although there is no information about the kind of chocolate that the participants ate, experts believe that dark chocolate may have more health benefits than milk or white chocolate, as it contains more flavonoids.

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(Photo by John Loo via Flickr Creative Commons)

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