Chocolate

From my nutritionist friend Lynn Soehner

Ever wonder why you could buy the seemingly artisanal Green and Black’s chocolate at Duane Reade? Skip to the last paragraph:

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The Rich Benefits of Eating Chocolate

What’s interesting is that a 7-study meta-analysis sought to find a link between chocolate consumption and certain cardiometabolic disorders, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Along with those disorders are related problems like hypertension, elevated fasting glucose and triglycerides, and high cholesterol, abdominal obesity. But rather than finding negative effects, scientists found that chocolate – specifically the dark unprocessed raw cacao kinds – actually reduced the risk of such disorders.

Be careful about the type of dark chocolate you choose: chewy caramel-marshmallow-nut-covered dark chocolate is by no means a heart-healthy food option.  Be aware that milk chocolate does not have the same healthy effects as unadulterated dark chocolate, because milk often prevents absorption of polyphenols.

Please be aware that many popular and seemingly artisan-quality chocolate companies are now owned by multinational corporations who use GMO ingredients, disregard fair trade standards, and otherwise are not interested in supporting organic and sustainable production methods.

For example, Cadbury Schweppes bought Green & Black in 2005, who in turn was bought by Kraft Foods in 2010. Dagoba was bought by Hershey’s in 2006. You will find this pattern recur quite often if you peak beneath the “wrapper” of the chocolate industry. So, please remember to choose carefully, and consider whether the companies you support are supporting you back.

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So what to do? Well, there are lots of boutique chocolatiers making great products these days. In New York, we have the Mast Brothers, in Brooklyn. True, their chocolate is expensive – that means you just need to eat it slowly!

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