Healthy Chocolate…A Warning

Sometimes I wonder if there’s a writer/editor out there with a cynical sense of humor, so that when several different news items cross their eyeballs, they carve a single storyline out of it.

Some of you may have read of the various news articles claiming things along the lines of “Chocolate May Help Smokers’ Blood Vessels” or “Chocolate found to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol” or even “Chocolate may relieve intestinal ills“, it’s important to understand that this is a bit of yellow journalism, unintentionally giving out the wrong idea about chocolate candy bars.

Point of fact, it’s the flavonols within the chocolate which lead to the healthy responses. Flavonols are hardly to unique in the food world.

What are some other items containing flavonols? There’s citrus fruits, apples, onions, avocado, cantaloupe, watermelon, alfalfa sprouts, green pepper, blueberries, yellow squash, corn, green beans, tofu, parsley, legumes, green tea, and red wine, all of which can reproduce the same health benefits to some degree or another as chocolate. It’s simply sexier to dress up news stories with the blaring headlines of “CHOCOLATE ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOU!!!!”, when, point of fact, the sugar and saturated fat also within the chocolate is still as bad as it always has been.

Sorry for the buzzkill. Now I’m off to my freezer to indulge in some KitKat bars smuggled in from Canada.

UPDATE: My favorite Chocolate guru, David Lebovitz, added a comment which I thought pertinent. So I’m copying it to the post itself.

The irony is, most anti-oxidents dissipate when the cacao beans are fermented. The ‘better-quality’ chocolates are fermented longer than others, therefore, if you want to get the most benefits from cacao, you should eat lower-quality cacao beans, which of course are mostly used in lower-quality chocolate (and milk chocolate) bars.

So perhaps that Kit-Kat bar is healthier than you think…we’ll at least the 10% of cacao in the thin milk chocolate part.

Thanks for the info David!

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