The Surprising Food You Might Want To Start Eating For Breakfast

Tired of your normal breakfast food routine? You may be in luck if you wake up with a sweet tooth. Researchers say starting the day off with chocolate for breakfast may actually provide some health benefits.

According to a study from Brigham and Women's Hospital published in the FASEB Journal on June 23, eating 100 grams of milk chocolate (around two chocolate bars) within an hour of waking up may help postmenopausal women burn fat and decrease blood sugar levels.

The study analyzed data from 19 women who, along with their normal meal routine, ate chocolate over the course of two weeks in the morning, evening, or not at all. The findings showed that the chocolate intake caused no weight gain — in fact, data showed that eating chocolate decreased hunger and the desire for sweets throughout the day (via Brigham and Women's Hospital). Having chocolate in the morning or evening also influenced the microbiota composition, and led to more regular sleep times.

Why timing of food is key for nutritional wellness

Researchers said the study proved that when it comes to weight gain, timing is key: the participants didn't gain weight despite increasing their caloric intake, and despite their vulnerability to weight gain as postmenopausal females. "Our findings highlight that not only 'what' but also 'when' we eat can impact physiological mechanisms involved in the regulation of body weight," said Dr. Frank A. J. L. Scheer, neuroscientist and professor of medicine at Harvard, in a research brief.

What also makes the findings unique is the testing of milk chocolate, which has a reputation for causing weight gain because of its higher levels of calories, fat, and sugar. Dark chocolate is typically touted as the healthier chocolate option and has previously been the subject of other clinical trials even though milk chocolate is the basis of most popular candy bars, researchers wrote in the study.

But before you go buying up chocolate bars for breakfast, it is still important to note that some chocolate contains added sugars that can have negative health impacts (via Eating Well). So chocolate-lovers may want to take this good news and get their fix by adding chocolate to well-rounded, nutritious breakfast dishes like oatmeal or pancakes instead of chowing down on chocolate alone.