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Q: Grades of Chocolate ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Grades of Chocolate
Category: Health > Fitness and Nutrition
Asked by: skdot-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 27 Oct 2006 03:38 PDT
Expires: 26 Nov 2006 02:38 PST
Question ID: 777380
I have read that chocolate in moderation can be somewhat healthy for
you.  I was under the impression that the good chocolate is dark
chocolate and the best is from Europe.  My friend told me recently
that she tries to eat chocolate every day for health reasons.  She
said she eats Hershey's chocolate covered peanuts.  I thought that
most of Hershey's chocolate is milk chocolate and not really chocolate
at all but contains loads of sugar and thus NOT healty for you.  Is
the type of chocolate she is eating included in the
category of 'healty' chocolate?
Subject: Re: Grades of Chocolate
Answered By: easterangel-ga on 27 Oct 2006 05:03 PDT
Hi! Thanks for the question.

The following websites provide good reviews of chocolates. Since
reviews are subjective, there will be inevitable differences of
opinions here.

Seventy Percent - This is probably the most useful and valuable review
for your needs. The concern here is more on the quality of the
chocolate. And yes it seems to agree with your assessment that
Hershey's is not included in the list. (FAQ)

Chocolate Reviews - This is another quality review of chocolate brands
out there and it seems that it has quite a different take from the
first website above. It will be good to check it out as well.

Search terms used:
fine dark chocolate reviews -lg

I hope this would help you in your research. Before rating this
answer, please ask for a clarification if you have a question or if
you would need further information.
Google Answers Researcher
Subject: Re: Grades of Chocolate
From: keystroke-ga on 27 Oct 2006 05:26 PDT
Yeah, the Hershey's is not the kind that's good for your heart (even
the kind that says it's "dark" chocolate.) They label it as "special
dark" and somehow they can get away with that. It's not dark
chocolate, and it's not the kind that's healthy for you.  Real dark
chocolate is more expensive and less widely available, unfortunately.

Europe has better chocolate as in better-tasting, but it does not
necessarily have healthier chocolate and most of what is available is
milk chocolate, just as in the US.

If you have a Whole Foods around, they have a fine selection of real dark chocolate.
Subject: Re: Grades of Chocolate
From: canadianhelper-ga on 27 Oct 2006 10:42 PDT
Your friend is BSing themselves.

Hershey chocolate is only about 20% cocoa.

Regarding their Special Dark it is an additive to make the chocolate
dark and not indicative of higher cocoa content.  The process of

Quote from Hershey: Is HERSHEY?S SPECIAL DARK cocoa (dutched) the same
as your regular HERSHEY?S Cocoa?
No. Dutch processed cocoa has an alkalizing agent similar to baking
soda added to neutralize the natural acidity of cocoa. It has a more
mellow flavor and a darker color.

European standards on what can be called 'milk chocolate' require a
higher cocoa content than US chocolate...thus the idea that Euro
chocolate is 'better'

Here is wiki on health benefits of chocolate:

Health benefits

Recent studies have suggested that cocoa or dark chocolate may possess
certain beneficial effects on human health. Dark chocolate, with its
high cocoa content, is a rich source of the flavonoids epicatechin and
Gallic acid, which are thought to possess cardio protective
properties. Cocoa possesses a significant antioxidant action,
protecting against LDL oxidation, perhaps more than other polyphenol
antioxidant rich foods and beverages. Cocoa processed with alkali will
not contain any polyphenols or antioxidants.[citation needed] Some
studies have also observed a modest reduction in blood pressure and
flow mediated dilation after consuming approximately 100g of dark
chocolate daily. There has even been a fad diet named, "Chocolate
diet", that emphasizes eating chocolate and cocoa powder in capsules.
However, consuming milk chocolate or white chocolate, or drinking milk
with dark chocolate, appears to largely negate the health benefit.[11]
Chocolate is also a calorie-rich food with a high fat content, so
daily intake of chocolate also requires reducing caloric intake of
other foods.

Two-thirds of the fat in chocolate comes in the forms of a saturated
fat called stearic acid and a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid.
However, unlike other saturated fats, stearic acid does not raise
levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.[12] Consuming relatively
large amounts of dark chocolate and cocoa does not seem to raise serum
LDL cholesterol levels; some studies even find that it could lower

Several population studies have observed an increase in the risk of
certain cancers among people who frequently consume sweet 'junk' foods
such as chocolate. However very little evidence exists to suggest
whether consuming flavonoid-rich dark chocolate may increase or
decrease the risk of cancer. Evidence from laboratory studies suggest
that cocoa flavonoids may possess anticarcinogenic mechanisms, but
more research is needed to prove this idea.

The major concern that nutritionists have is that even though eating
dark chocolate may favorably affect certain biomarkers of
cardiovascular disease, the amount needed to have this effect would
provide a relatively large quantity of calories which, if unused,
would promote weight gain. Obesity is a significant risk factor for
many diseases including cardiovascular disease. As a consequence,
consuming large quantities of dark chocolate in an attempt to protect
against cardiovascular disease has been described as 'cutting off
one's nose to spite one's face'.[14].

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