Chocolate Cake for Breakfast: It's Good for You

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Tue, Feb 14, 2012 at 7:25 AM
click to enlarge It beats French toast. - FLICKR/EVINDC
  • Flickr/EvinDC
  • It beats French toast.

Remember Bill Cosby's classic 1982 routine about feeding his kids chocolate cake for breakfast? It went like this:

"The child wanted chocolate cake for breakfast! How ridiculous! ... And someone in my brain looked under chocolate cake and saw the ingredients: eggs! Eggs are in chocolate cake! And milk! Oh goody! And wheat! That's nutrition! ... And their father said, 'Chocolate cake coming up!!' ... And five children sat at breakfast and the morning music was playing and they were eating chocolate cake and singing songs to me: 'Dad is great! Give us the chocolate cake!'"

Cosby's creative take on the all-important first meal of the day (he gave them grapefruit juice, too!) didn't go over so well with Mrs. Cosby: "The skin and hair split and came off of her face so that there was nothing except the skull! And orange light came out of her hair and it lit all around! And fire shot from her eye sockets and began to burn my stomach! And she said, 'Where did they get chocolate cake from?!?'"

Thirty years later, Cosby's sweet breakfast idea has been vindicated. New research from a study at the University of Tel Aviv has found that eating dessert at breakfast could help promote weight loss for those with a sweet tooth, NASDAQ.com reports.

According to the study, published in the journal Steroids, the body's metabolism is most active in the morning, so if you want to eat something sugary, it's better to do it in the a.m. Also, lead researcher Daniela Jakubowicz says people who try to completely cut out sweets often end up binging on sugar later in the day.

"Attempting to avoid sweets entirely can create a psychological addiction to these same foods in the long term," Jakubowicz explains in the study.

To find out which group would lose more weight on a diet of the same daily calorie count (1,600 for men, 1,400 for women), researchers split 193 clinically obese adults into two groups: One group was fed a low-carbohydrate breakfast of 300 calories; the other got a 600-calorie breakfast high in proteins and carbs, followed by a small piece of chocolate cake for dessert. They found that those who ate the high-calorie breakfast continued to lose weight by the end of the study, whereas the low-cal/no-cake breakfast group, while initially losing weight, put back on an average of 22 pounds. The breakfast cake group lost an average of 40 pounds more than the group that avoided sweets, and kept it off.

The findings suggest that both meal timing and meal composition play a role in weight loss. Carbs and protein eaten at breakfast may keep you full throughout the day, and allowing some sweets may help stem cravings for these foods.

Give us the chocolate cake!

Follow Samantha Bonar @samanthabonar.

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