Topic of dark chocolate health benefits has been discussed a lot. As in any discussion, there are opinions and there are facts. My job, as an artisenal chocolate maker, is to conduct my own research and to study the product, in order to try to deliver the best possible outcome. Our study was solely based on facts. Not just any facts, but the feedback we are getting from our regular clients. They are the best and the only source of true and unbiased information, based on personal experience. So let’s begin.
Myth is saying that dark chocolate health benefits are well documented. It also says that dark chocolate provides so much health benefits, that probably no other food alone could compare. Below is randomly selected link talking about the subject.
So if all dark chocolate health benefits are already discussed and analyzed by many others, why am I wasting my time?
Because, my study is based on results obtained from regular people, based on their own experience. All results and objections are from authentic sources. I have to admit, I had to do few things beforehand: like making dark chocolate that would preserve most if not all of the dark chocolate benefits. How did I do that? I done it by studying how certain ingredients used in dark chocolate production blend together, if they could nullify the benefits if not used properly, or even better amplify the benefits if combined properly and at the right proportion. What ingredients should be avoided, although others are using them, etc. Having said that, the very first ingredient that came under the microscope was obviously, sugar. My first hint was that sugar had to go. Yes, dark chocolate manufactures have to add sugar to roasted cocoa beans in order to “kill” bitter and sour flavor, but sugar is the number one garbage in any product. Some studies say that it is even more addictive than cocaine! Not to mention weight gain, constant craving for more sugary food etc. So my conclusion was 0 sugar. Well, I am not a shame to admit that I was wrong. One of the health benefits of dark chocolate is that it acts as probiotic. What does sugar have to do with probiotics? Sugar helps our body extract proteins from vegetables and carbs. But only if we consume the right amount of it. Too much of it spikes glycemic index in our blood and creates a circle of: More, more. Too little has no effect on digestion. Unfortunately for the consumer, added sugar to dark chocolate enhances the flavor, makes digestion much harder and shoots glycemic index to the moon. Fortunately for the manufactures: It inflates the weight of the end product, making it easier to sell at lower price.
Myth number 1: sugar is bad for you BUSTED: Sugar stays. The right amount of it is proprietary secret. Sorry.
Ingredient number 2: Palm Oil, Corn Syrup, Soy, Sweeteners, Dairy, Milk Powder. Why are they even mixed in dark chocolate? Manufactures say because it enhances the flavor. Dark chocolate has bitter flavor otherwise, so people would not really eat it unless the flavor is enhanced. And last but not leas,t they say it does not affect the quality of the end product. In my opinion these ingredients are added to inflate the weight (lower the cost), to raise glyceminc blood index to create the craving for more. Dark chocolate needs some oil to get shiny and smooth, but only coconut oil. Everything else: out! Soy, dairy, sweeteners, palm oil, milk powder are minimizing, if not nullifying the health benefits, totally altering the product. They do more harm, and give nothing good in return except weight gain. Case closed.
Myth number 2: Manufactures add above mentioned ingredients to enhance the flavor, but it is not affecting the quality of dark chocolate and it’s health benefits. BUSTED: Palm oil, Corn Syrup, Sweeteners, Soy, Dairy: OUT!
Myth number 3: Dark Chocolate is good for cholesterol, it has lots of flavanoids, anti-oxidants, amino acids, healthy carbs, it is good for blood pressure, heart, brain, sleep, it can assist in weight management, even help with depression, help you lose weight and believe it or not stop sugar cravings. Wow! No way. This is definitely a myth, no need to discuss it further. I mean chocolate, even if it was dark, to assist in weight management, chocolate to stop sugar cravings. Yeah right. So this is where 4 years of thorough studies, working with real people, came as surprise. All of the above is TRUE!. If and when dark chocolate is made with an idea to maximize it’s health benefits, everything said is absolutely true. Though, there is one thing that I have to admit: It is not a cheap product any more. Sorry. Preserving all the health benefits that dark chocolate has to offer, comes with a price. Not a crazy one, but definitively not at $4.99 or $7.99/3oz bar (and half of it goes to the retailer). Good quality chocolate costs around $15/3oz or more. Remember: good quality dark chocolate is not a candy.
Myth number 3: CONFIRMED. Dark Chocolate, made properly, is very healthy, if consumed in moderation.
How to know which dark chocolate to eat? Read the ingredient label. Dark chocolate (70%) has around 27gr of sugar per 100gr. Anything above that means-added sugar. As soon as you see words like: soy, milk, milk powder, oil (except coconut), emuslifier, lecithin, corn syrup or butter, you are not getting almost any benefits even if the label says dark chocolate 70%, 80% or more.
That is as much as I as a chocolate maker can offer you. My mission ends right here. One last thing: How much will you consume is up to you. We recommend eating up to 1oz/day, broken into 2-3 times. Best if consumed 5 minutes after a meal or the last piece before the bed time. Remember: LESS IS MORE!. Eat less dark chocolate, but eat it every day, and you will see the results. Guaranteed! Our clients tell us that it takes around 2-4 weeks to combat sugar cravings, and not a single person gained weight. They feel better and stronger in general, once they get over constant need to munch on something. Everything we did to our chocolate is carefully designed to assist our clients to get the results they want. The final truth is: Facts speak for themselves. CONFIRMED!