Knowledge Is Power
Where To Get The Healthiest
Chocolate That's Also Delicious
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NEWS FLASH! - Chocolate CAN actually be HEALTHY! The cacao beans that chocolate is made from contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are very good for you.
The problem with most chocolate is it's made from cocoa, not cacao (pronounced ka-KOW). Cocoa is made by roasting cacao at very high temperatures and this kills most of the beneficial flavanoids in cacao.
In addition, most companies producing chocolate add in a LOT of sugar. A single 1.5 oz Hershey bar weighs 43 grams. Of that 43 grams, a whopping 24 grams (56%) is sugar. A healthy cacao bar contains less than 10% of that, only 2 grams of sugar, as well as 8 times more fiber per serving. Most chocolate sold today is candy. Healthy chocolate made with cacao is NOT candy but a nutritional treat that's beneficial to your health.
The solution is to enjoy chocolate made with cacao powder, not cocoa powder, and very little sugar. If you check the nutritional labels on dark chocolate cacao bars it's common to find that the darker the chocolate the less sugar it has. 100% cacao bars will have 0 grams of sugar, 95% bars have 2 grams, 90% bars will have 3 to 4 grams, etc. As a result, the darker a cacao bar is the healthier it is.
(56% of serving)
(6% of serving)
|Potassium||4% of RDA||6% of RDA|
|Iron||8% of RDA||6% of RDA|
|RDA = Recommended Daily Allowance|
The healthiest, least-processed cacao bar is made in the USA right outside of Boston in Somerville, Massachusetts by Taza Chocolate. Their organic Wicked Dark bar is made from stone-ground cacao beans which preserves all the healthy properties of the cacao.
While more and more companies are jumping on the dark chocolate bandwagon, most still make their bars with cocoa, not cacao. In addition, most do not participate in fair-trade practices which help to ensure fair labor practices as well. One has to look harder to get a truly healthy chocolate bar based on cacao that is sourced through fair trade. We believe Taza Chocloate's Wicked Dark bar is the best because each serving is:
- 95% cacao dark chocolate
- made "bean-to-bar" from the healthier cacao, not cocoa
- least-processed, stone-ground cacao
- less than 10% of the sugar in a Hershey bar serving
- 8 grams of fiber which is almost 1/3 of your RDA
- heart-healthy with monounsaturated fats
- pareve (Kosher)
- direct-trade certified ensuring fairness to the Central-American cacao growers
- not bitter and really really tasty!
The healthy fat in cacao (the same type of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil) aligns perfectly with a Mediterranean, keto or other low-carb diet and the antioxidants help protect your cells from damage by free radicals which could lead to heart disease and cancer. If you're skeptical about eating chocolate for your health, check out this WebMD article on the benefits of consuming cacao-based chocolate.
If you like your healthy chocolate with a healthy twist, Taza has you covered. With just 1 more gram of sugar (3 grams total per serving) their Wicked Dark with Ginger bar tastes awesome! And while I haven't personally tried them, they also have coconut and almond versions of their Wicked Dark bar with no additional sugar.
Health-conscious, ethical producers emphasizing sustainability and fair labor practices like Taza Chocolate offer the opportunity to enjoy chocolate in a manner that is not only healthy, but beneficial to everyone involved in the production of it. Alter-Eco is another ethical producer and their offerings include a 100% cacao bar ("Total Blackout") with zero grams of sugar but it is more processed.
You can order Taza's Wicked Dark bars diretly from their Web site (they often have sales so keep checking back or sign up on their email list) or you can use their product locator page to find it at a retailer near you. If you're in the Boston area you can tour the Taza Chocolate factory and visit their factory store.