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Chocolate: Fact vs. Fiction

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Chocolate: Fact vs. Fiction

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

A new study reported in WebMD leaves health professionals questioning results. First off, the study was conducted by Hershey Company (ah what?) and published in Chemistry Central Journal. The study compares the total flavonol and polyphenol content as well as antioxidant activity content of cocoa powder and dark chocolate vs. superfoods like acai, blueberry, cranberry, and pomegranate.

Researchers found a higher level of antioxidant activity in cocoa powder than some of the other antioxidant-laden superfoods to which it was compared. But a review of the story and study on Health News Review brings up some important questions. For example, most chocolate sold in the U.S. is nothing more than sugary candy, including Hershey’s candy bars. And even more importantly, serving size matters. If you eat an entire candy bar, whether it’s dark chocolate or not, expect an expanded waistline, rather than the benefits of antioxidants.

Separate Dark Chocolate Fact From Fiction

1. It’s Cocoa Not Dark Chocolate That Has Antioxidants

The story in WebMD did make a clear distinction between milk chocolate and dark chocolate when it comes to health benefits. But the fact of the matter is that it’s much more than just milk chocolate versus dark chocolate. Dark chocolate itself doesn’t supply the antioxidant value; it’s the cocoa powder that it’s made with. So in order to get the antioxidant benefits outlined in the study, there must be a high percentage of cocoa. The chocolate should be Fair Trade certified, organic, and be at least 70 percent cocoa. Avoid any filling like peanut butter, which could be laced with hydrogenated oils.

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Samantha, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, PlanetGreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

186 comments

+ add your own
4:38PM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Interesting. Thanks.

6:22PM PDT on May 27, 2012

Thanks!

10:04AM PST on Jan 25, 2012

mmmm chocolate!!!

7:13AM PDT on May 30, 2011

Love chocolate

7:46PM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

I do not eat chocolate really!

11:43AM PDT on Apr 10, 2011

Thank you,very interesting.

7:43PM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

thanks for clearing things up!

12:53PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

mmmmm... I love dark chocolate! I have been buying organic dark chocolate for a while now and can no longer eat milk chocolate, it taste horrible to me. I like 85% organic dark chocolate. Great article, thanks!

6:17PM PDT on Mar 26, 2011

I would rather avoid eating chocolate at all than limit myself to one square. That one taste is just a tease,so better just leave the temptation alone.I have yet to see someone take just one square and be content.

2:20PM PDT on Mar 21, 2011

Thanks for this, very interesting!

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