My mother died 4 years ago and 3 things I remember so strikingly about her were that she was a people person, very svelte and lean, and a born-again chocolaholic.

She would eat one of the largest size Hershey bars, the ones on steroids, daily, all the while I was growing up. Yet everyone noted and commented about how fit and thin she was. Was chocolate her secret weapon?

A recent study out of the University of California, San Diego, has rocked our world. For years science has acknowledged the beneficial role of chocolate in many aspects of health, from blood pressure to improving insulin sensitivity, but it was thought that all those benefits were probably offset by its high fatty, caloric content.

But this new study, which was analyzing various factors on over 1000 patients who were on statins, asked how often they consumed chocolate as well as investigated all the foods they ate or drank, how much they exercised, etc.

Holding all the other factors aside, the more the people ate chocolate, the leaner they were (lower body mass index).

These findings are in harmony with the emerging nutritional literature that suggests that the character, not just the quantity, of calories, has impact on metabolic syndrome (weight, blood pressure, blood fat levels, blood sugar levels, etc.). (Arch Intern Med. 2012)

This is one reason why years ago I designed the first chocolate nutraceutical for Natrol, who started a separate company for these weight loss truffles. I stuck (formulated) scientifically proven weight loss nutrients inside tasty low glycemic healthy dark chocolate.

We launched the company in the same chocolate facility where ‘I love Lucy’ filmed Lucille Ball’s famous chocolate conveyer belt scene. But the lawyers at that time said that the term glycemic index was a trend and not here to stay (beware of opinions of other’s- even those you pay for), and hot weather made shipping the fragile truffles tough.

But chocolate is not only low glycemic; it has robust plant chemical content that appears to boost thermogenesis (fat burning capabilities) all by its lonesome. Ah, ah, ah, sweet chocolate. See, I get to say, ‘my mother was right’!

Hey, who’s buying me some chocolate this Valentine’s???