Dark Chocolate

Many of us have heard about the health benefits of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate with 70% or more cacao solids has many vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and phosphorus as well as antioxidants.

I try to only eat it during the day, as it also has some caffeine in it which interferes with my sleep.

Unfortunately recent findings of a Consumer Report study has been in the news about high levels of heavy metals in several brands of dark chocolate including Trader Joe’s, Green & Black’s, Theo and Lily’s (from Hershey.)

The news of this report was dated December 15, just in time for Christmas gifts. Of course, I received two nice big bars of dark chocolate in my stocking.

The same article said that sweet potatoes, spinach and carrots also had high levels, but that didn’t make the headlines.

The study used levels of heavy metals established by the California’s Maximum Allowable Dose Level, which is 0.5 micrograms (mcg) for lead and 4.1 mcg for cadmium. Of the 28 different bars tested, only five are considered safer and 23 were identified with higher than acceptable levels: eight are high in cadmium, 10 are high in lead and and five are high in both cadmium and lead.

The brand I got for Christmas was Sam’s Club, but this brand was not tested. Just because it wasn’t tested, I should not assume that it would fall on the safer list. I’m assuming it’s on the naughty list.

The article cautions to eat only a small amount at a time.Because the heavy metals all add up over time… it might be a good idea to cut back on spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes when you eat dark chocolate too?

The fact that they released the information just before Christmas makes me suspicious. I guess I am getting more and more cynical about what’s good for you and what isn’t. Maybe I feel a bit resentful in that in trying to eat healthy and be conscience of what I put into my body, it’s getting harder to win.

This report feels like the edge of too much.

My dark chocolate plan… eat only 1 ounce at a time with several days in between. I have no idea if several days makes any difference at all.  And I plan to keep up on eating my carrots and spinach without putting any time frame on those vegetables. I usually save sweet potatoes for a holiday or Sunday meal.

How about you? Will this change your dark chocolate consumption pattern? Or do you find this just one more thing? Leave a comment below. Thanks!

1 thought on “Dark Chocolate”

  1. It’s interesting that one of the solutions that is suggested is to eat milk chocolate or at least dark chocolate that is a lower percentage. Doesn’t it feel like you just can’t win on this? I’d like to know how problematic this actually is.

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