Saturday, July 13, 2013

Chocolate and Your Health

Chocolate had a bad rap when I was a child. I heard everything from it rotting your teeth to causing your face to break out. The only form of chocolate I knew of was my favorite candy bars: Snickers, 3 Musketeers and Milky Way, to name a few. Now, of course, news of the health benefits of the dark stuff is main stream. The below infogram illustrates some facts about chocolate.

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned the fact that food companies use cheap alternatives to real food ingredients in an effort to maximize profit. Today I read this in a Wikipedia article:

"In March 2007, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, whose members include Hershey's, Nestlé, and Archer Daniels Midland, began lobbying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change the legal definition of chocolate to allow the substitution of "safe and suitable vegetable fats and oils" (including partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) for cocoa butter in addition to using "any sweetening agent" (including artificial sweeteners) and milk substitutes. Currently, the FDA does not allow a product to be referred to as "chocolate" if the product contains any of these ingredients. To work around this restriction, products with cocoa substitutes are often branded or labeled as "chocolatey" or as in the case of Hershey's Mr. Goodbar containing vegetable oils, "made with chocolate"."
I have one thing to say to that: GRRRRR!!!!!! Will it ever stop?!

I LOVE chocolate. I even love the darker, less sweet kind. So I was thrilled to learn of the benefits it can have to my health. However, like everything good, chocolate is able to be manipulated and modified to the point of detriment instead of beneficial. When sugar, fat and artificial ingredients are added, the risks of eating it outweigh anything good that would come from the actual cocoa in the product.

Eat chocolate: eat it in moderation, eat the dark kind (less sugar and more cacao), and read the label!


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