When starting a new diet — or, ahem, "lifestyle change" — the first foods and drinks to go are usually some of our favorites. But new research shows that not all indulgences should be relegated to cheat days, wine and chocolate included.
At the Oxford Literary Festival, King's College professor and author of The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat Tim Spector told the audience that chocolate, red wine, coffee, nuts and cheese and other dairy products can actually be key to weight loss and overall health.
According to Spector, these foods add good bacteria to the good and bad bacteria already living in our stomachs, and can help with digestion and staying lean.
Spector's report builds on a long history of scientists and health experts debating the merits of fatty and high calorie foods. In 2014, a group of Canadian researchers said a glass of red wine has the same benefits of an hour of exercise. But just last month, another study broke the news that previous science on the topic overstated the health perks of moderate drinking.
"The more diverse foods we eat, the more varieties of microbes in our bodies, which makes us healthier," he said, according to the Daily Mail.
Don't mind if we do.