Part II – to read the first article go to Dark Gourmet Chocolate is Healthyâ€¦is it Really?
Health Benefits of Raw Cocoa
The health benefit claims of chocolate are mainly due to the antioxidants present in the raw form of cocoa, known as flavonols. Flavonols are a subclass of flavonoids, and are natural chemicals found in plants, fruits and vegetables.
The total antioxidant content in chocolate products are directly associated with the amount of RAW cocoa it contains. Cocoa powder does rank at the top when it comes to health benefits due to its high levels of flavanol antioxidants, in its raw and unprocessed state.
Antioxidants and polyphenols can also be found in foods such as fruits, vegetables and sweet-tasting organic blueberries (blueberries are one of the most potent antioxidant foods).
Comparison of Fruits & Vegetables to Chocolate?
There is a company who compares there product as being equivalent to fruits and vegetables.
Comparing the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables (that contain natures balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber and water) is misleading the consumer and is simply just bad marketing.
Since the real story of the Healthy Chocolate is in the flavonols as antioxidants, it is important to realize that raw unprocessed cacoa is actually very bitter. For this reason, well over 95 percent of people would not like it.
What the chocolate companies do is add sweeteners so that the natural cocoa is palatable to the consumer. What is added is 100% pure crystalline fructose. This fructose is either refined from corn or fruit sugars.
The crystalline fructose improves the product texture, the taste and stability. Because it is refined it becomes “man made” therefore it is slow to metabolize in the body and actually raises the blood glucose; causing the glycemic affect in the body.
The Diabetic Friendly version of Chocolate
For the â€œdiabetic friendlyâ€ product it cannot use crystalline fructose. This product includes the agave sweetener, which comes from a cactus like plant.
Agave fructose is recommended for people with diabetes because, as the claim says, it does not raise blood glucose or insulin concentrations, since it is metabolized without the need of insulin.
Effects of Sugar on Your Health
It is important to note that Chocolate, even if it is gourmet dark chocolate, contains significant amounts of sugar, and eating sugar is one of the most devastating things you can do to your health. To overlook the sugar content in these products and only focus on the antioxidant value is really not good nutrition.
It may make a good treat, but if you’re sick, your immune system is working hard to combat your illness, these sugars weakens the immune system. So eating chocolate will only make it harder for your immune system to fight illness.
Take a look at the product labels yourself. Compare the sugar content in the product (4 grams = 1 teaspoon). How many teaspoons of sugar are in a square of the chocolate?
It appears most companies reference the health benefits of Flavonoid Rich Dark Chocolate in Double blind, peer reviewed & published clinical studies by major Universities. It appears from general reading many of the studies being reference were conducted on the consumption of products containing cocoa.
The inquiring consumer who is interested in healthy chocolate should ask the company if “their packaged product” (their formulation) has been through a “Double blind, peer reviewed & published clinical trial”. As we see from the added ingredients, all products are different and contain additional flavorings in the form of fructose.
These same doctors and researches are also quoted as saying, “caution that because chocolate contains sugar and fat, and is a high-calorie, high-fat food, care should be taken to balance the calories if you decide to incorporate dark chocolate into your diet.”
Final Comment and Recommendation
While cocoa may have antioxidant benefits, I would not suggest consuming it on a regular basis with the expectation of real medicinal benefits as the raw cocoa is undermined by the high fructose sweeteners, found in these package products.
If you are looking to consume or promote these chocolate products I would recommend you read the two articles below. I urge you to market the product for what it is; a more “healthy snack food” against than its competitive counterpart, commercial chocolate bars and candy. It is NOT A HEALTH SUPPLEMENT and does NOT compare to the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables.
Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Here’s what a biochemist says about refined fructose sweeteners
“Refined fructose based sweeteners, irrespective of false and misleading labeling, metabolize directly to 9 calorie stored FAT in your body (brown adipose tissue), OR are converted (kilated) directly to triglycerides in your blood stream! Triglycerides are the precursor, or building block, of LDL or BAD cholesterol.”
“The single largest total contributor to obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypoglycemia and diabetes in the American food chain are these refined and chemically created fructose products … avoid them like the long term poisons they are!
“These comments are NOT speculation, no matter the spin and confusion tactics out there on the internet, or in fructose pusher press releases.
“Fructose, in any form … JUST SAY NO!”
~ biochemist Dr. Russ Bianchi from Soquel, California
Source: via Dr. Mercola (www.mercola.com)