Lead and Cadmium Could Be Lurking in Your Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, most of us take the safe bet and go for the dark variety. It’s known to be lower in sugar and packed with antioxidants, so why wouldn’t you reach for it? Unfortunately, a recent investigation conducted by Consumer Reports has revealed that dark chocolate may contain levels of lead and cadmium that are potentially hazardous to health. So before you reach for that bar of dark chocolate, it may be wise to take a closer look at what’s inside.

What Did the Study Find?

Consumer Reports recently tested 50 different varieties of dark chocolate, looking for levels of lead and cadmium. The results weren’t good. Almost half of the samples tested contained levels of lead and/or cadmium that exceeded the limits set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The highest levels of contamination were found in chocolates from Hershey’s, Trader Joe’s, and Ghirardelli.

The Potential Health Risks

Lead and cadmium are both toxic metals that can be absorbed into the body and accumulate over time. Lead exposure is particularly dangerous for young children, as it can affect their brain development. It can also cause anemia, weakness, and abdominal pain in adults. Cadmium exposure, on the other hand, can lead to kidney and bone damage.

The researchers from Consumer Reports also found that the levels of lead and cadmium in the chocolates varied based on where the cocoa was sourced from. The chocolates sourced from Africa and Asia tended to have higher levels of the metals than those sourced from South America.

The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Despite the potential health risks, dark chocolate still has some nutritional benefits. It’s high in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from free radical damage. It also contains minerals like magnesium, copper, and iron, which can help boost energy levels and regulate metabolism.

Reducing Your Risk

The good news is that it’s still possible to enjoy dark chocolate without having to worry about lead and cadmium contamination. Here are some tips for reducing your risk:

  • Look for brands that use cocoa beans sourced from South America.

According to CR’s findings, the safer choices are:

-Mast Organic Dark Chocolate 80% Cocoa. CR found an ounce contained 14% less lead and 40% less cadmium than California’s allowable limits.

-Taza Chocolate Organic Deliciously Dark Chocolate 70% Cacao held 33% less lead and 74% less cadmium.

-Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate 86% Cacao contained 36% less lead and 39% less cadmium.

-Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Twilight Delight. Lead contained was 61% below the allowable level and cadmium 96% below its allowable limit.

-Valrhona Abinao Dark Chocolate 85% Cacao. Lead 63% and cadmium 73% below.

  • Avoid chocolates with added ingredients, such as nuts, dried fruit, or caramel. These can increase the level of contamination.
  • Check the label for information about the cocoa beans used. If it doesn’t list the origin, it’s best to avoid it.
  • Consider using cacao powder or beans instead of chocolate. These are pure forms of cocoa, so there’s no risk of contamination.

Alternatives to Dark Chocolate

If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to dark chocolate, there are plenty of options. Here are some of the best:

  • Coconut chips: These are made from dried coconut and are a great source of healthy fats.
  • Cacao nibs: These are small pieces of cocoa beans that have a crunchy texture and a slightly bitter taste.
  • Dates: Dates are naturally sweet, high in fiber, and rich in antioxidants.
  • Fruit and nut bars: These bars are made with a combination of dried fruits and nuts and are a great source of protein and healthy fats.
  • Roasted chickpeas: Roasted chickpeas are high in protein and fiber and are a great snack for those looking for a crunchy alternative to chocolate.

Dark chocolate is a popular treat, but the recent findings from Consumer Reports have revealed that it may contain levels of lead and cadmium that are potentially hazardous to health. To reduce your risk, look for brands that use cocoa beans sourced from South America, avoid chocolates with added ingredients, and consider using cacao powder or beans instead. There are also plenty of alternatives to dark chocolate, such as coconut chips, cacao nibs, dates, fruit and nut bars, and roasted chickpeas.

A Quick Note from Our Founder

I don’t often align myself with products but this is one that I just had to share!

Some of you may already know years ago, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

I can still recall what it felt like to have my life change overnight…

I went from an Executive Director of a non-profit organization, running marathons, rock climbing, hiking canyons and kayaking to being completely bedridden and staring at a wall for 15 hours a day.

Of course, I went to see many doctors but unfortunately I didn’t find the help I needed. So, I had to set off on my own journey to learn my true path to healing.

I’d pretty much turned-over every rock trying to find relief for my pain, sleep issues and myriad of other symptoms…

Fast-forward 18 years.

I was determined to climb one of the true wonders of the natural world, Machu Picchu, the mystical home of the Incas in Peru.

It was there, after a grueling day when my feet, knees, legs, and lower back hurt so bad, that I thought I would have to abandon hopes of our next climb which was Rainbow Mountain! That night I pulled out a little spray bottle of “aceite de magnesio” that a friend had given me before I left on my trip.

What the heck, I thought. I was desperate. And I applied it all over my body before bed.

Because of the grueling day, I woke up expecting to be immobilized, but instead we were off to climb Rainbow Mountain and…I was totally pain-free!

I know it sounds impossible, but it’s 1000% the truth.

Related Articles

Michelle Toole

Michelle Toole

Leave a Reply