Doctor's Note

You always have to be careful about Food Industry-Funded Research Bias.

Better than dark chocolate would be cocoa powder, which contains the phytonutrients without the saturated fat. More on cocoa and chocolate in:

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  • Dominik

    Dear Dr Greger,

    are there any concerns regarding the saturated fats or the caffeine found naturally in cocoa powder?
    Some people state that due to these ingredients cocoa is not good for humans. The caffeine would also affect our metabolism negatively.

    Regards,

    Dominik

    • yak

      The fats in cocoa are quite unique in their compositions, and should no effect on your health
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocoa_butter
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturated_fat

      caffeine is also considered good for you in moderation

      • largelytrue

        The fats in cocoa contain quite a bit of palmitic acid, and I presume you would accept going to wikipedia for that too:

        “According to the World Health Organization, evidence is “convincing” that consumption of palmitic acid increases risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.[16] Retinyl palmitate is an antioxidant and a source of vitamin A
        added to low fat milk to replace the vitamin content lost through the
        removal of milk fat. Palmitate is attached to the alcohol form of
        vitamin A, retinol, to make vitamin A stable in milk.

        Rats fed a diet of 20% palmitic acid and 80% carbohydrate for
        extended periods showed alterations in central nervous system control of
        insulin secretion, and suppression of the body’s natural appetite-suppressing signals from leptin and insulin (the key hormones involved in weight regulation).[17]”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmitic_acid

        • yak

          yes, it contains 26% palmitic acid, but also 34.5% oleic acid, and another 3.2% of linoleic acid
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleic_acid#Health_effects

          so that should more or less cancel out the palmitic. considering cocoa butter is eaten in moderation, it doesn’t really matter if it’s slightly more or slightly less…
          people are not rats, and wow i’d like to see you try getting 20% of your calories from palmitic acid, eating just cocoa butter.

          • largelytrue

            Yeah, I don’t know about the relevance of the rat study either, but I was just quoting the entire section since it was brief.

        • yak

          furthermore, here’s a study in actual humans and actual cocoa butter – showing the neutral response
          http://www.metabolismjournal.com/article/0026-0495(93)90182-N/abstract

          • largelytrue

            Compared with what, butter? The OO and SO diets were hypocholesterolemic in comparison to CB — says so right in the abstract.

            If you look at table 2, CB instead of OO significantly raised TC, LDL, and TC/LDL, while CB instead of SO significantly raised all those factors and also raised triglycerides.

    • Wade Patton

      “Some people state that due to these ingredients cocoa is not good for humans” /Dominik

      This people say that those who base their acceptance or avoidance of any whole plant food on a single natural ingredient are not looking at the WHOLE picture.

      And I agree with Yak.

    • Joe Caner

      At 0.4 grams of SF per tablespoon of dried unsweetened cocoa, you can probably afford it. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5471/2

      • largelytrue

        Depends. Most of the desserts I’ve seen so far have 2-3 tablespoons per serving, and if you have a tablespoon in your coffee each morning and a tablespoon in your oatmeal as well oftentimes, we can call that 1.6g saturated fat, or 14.4 calories of saturated fat overall. At 0.7% the calories of a ~2000 calorie diet it may not seem like much, but this is a sizable increment in saturated fat content considering that it is from one minor source alone, and one which likely increases the calorie content of the diet as well. What other similar ‘extras’ does the diet accommodate?

        • Joe Caner

          True that, although, it is nearly impossible to avoid some SF if one is eating WFPB. For example, flaxseed is one of our darlings of health and also contain 0.4 grams of SF per tablespoon of whole seeds, (it’s recommended to grind before use): http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3163/2

          • largelytrue

            Yep, though flaxseed’s SF is packaged with other content such as soluble fiber, phytosterols, that probably helps moderate cholesterol levels in particular, while I’m not sure of parallel benefits in cacao. It is also not often recommended to have more than a tablespoon or two of flax per day, nor are most inclined to indulge beyond. Consuming 1 tbsp is often enough to balance the n3-n6 ratio on a low fat diet and the overall proportion of saturated fat in that tbsp is very low. While cocoa powder and cocoa butter can raise the amount of saturated fat in the diet as a fraction of calories quite readily (its fat content is more than 50% SF), it is much more difficult for flax consumption to do so.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      The cocoa powder is different from chocolate made with with cocoa butter and added fats and sugar, whereas it will not have much fat. Caffeine seems to be helpful and health promoting.

    • Stewart E.

      Dominik, I do have a concern about the saturated fats. My total cholesterol level is usually around 137. However when I eat more dark chocolate during the week my cholesterol will occcasionally go North of 200. Now this is not a controled study but rather my observed experience and I am painfully aware of the potential problems with that. And I do know something else could be mucking things up but would like to know others’ experiences if you have them. I would also like to see any studies that address this in particular. In the meantime I seem to do well just keeping the dark chocolate intake to a “modest level”.

      As to the caffeine, I was excessively sensitive to it before I started consuming great quantities of cruciferous veggies and enjoying the benefits of sulforaphane. No problem there now. I can even drink fully caffeinated coffee.

  • Atom

    I’m not clear on this… If someone on a vegan diet wants to “gain weight”, will dark chocolate help?

    • b00mer

      Anything that is calorically dense will aid in weight gain. “Dark chocolate” (as opposed to cocoa powder/nibs/beans) has added refined sugars and fats, making it calorically dense and conducive to weight gain.

      However, your health may be better served in achieving weight gain through calorically dense whole foods, e.g. dried fruit, avocado, nut/seed butters, or whole nuts or seeds. You will still be able to easily increase your calories with a relatively small volume, but you will greatly increase your micronutrient consumption since you won’t be wasting caloric real estate on nutritionally empty refined fats and sugars.

      If you enjoy dark chocolate as a treat you should by all means eat is as a treat (or e.g. perhaps include in a nut/seed/dried fruit granola bar). But if you are looking for a calorically dense whole food to add to your diet (not a processed food-like product), there are better options than dark chocolate.

      • Александр

        Would consuming more Omega-6 fats (from nuts and seeds), which have been shown to promote cancer cell growth, be a healthier choice as opposed to 80-90% dark chocolate for a vegan on a weight-gain course? I personally doubt it. All those mentioned things must be eaten in moderation :)

        • b00mer

          You have taken one nutrient that is present in nuts and seeds, and assumed an outcome from that. However the outcome you predict is in reality at odds with those observed in regards to nut consumption and cancer. A search on nuts and cancer results in countless studies where nut consumption and all cause mortality, specific cause mortality, and various cancer incidences are inversely related. The scientific method begins with observation, prior to forming a hypothesis. In this case, we already have the observation that nuts and seeds have beneficial effects on health. It is logical to investigate how and why this occurs, but it is not a logical statement to postulate that one isolated nutrient from nuts and seeds will result in poor health outcomes for those who eat the whole food, since it has already been observed that the opposite is true.

          It is unwarranted to assume that the results of consuming any food that contains a significant amount of omega-6 FAs (particularly a food which has already been shown to be health promoting in observational studies and controlled trials) will be the same as results seen from high levels of consumption of omega-6 FAs in general, when most people consuming the SAD diet consume extremely high omega-6 levels not from whole nuts and seeds, but from foods such as meat, eggs, and extracted nut/seed oils found in processed foods.

    • MikeOnRaw

      Emily from bite sized vegan recently did a interview with vegan body builder Derek Treesize. In that they talked about a bean shake he makes to increase his meal calorie density when he is trying to put on mass. He said he uses canellini beans because they add nearly no flavor to the shake, but adds about a few hundred calories and a good amount of protein since he is building muscle. The point is there are many plant foods you can eat to increase your calorie intake and gain weight. And doing so using muscle is a great way to add lean mass, vs fat mass.
      Another vegan personality “rice and raw” has been documenting her efforts to gain mass, as she felt she was getting too lean as a high carb vegan.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEUTMZ1JTw8
      https://youtu.be/JCy6v5NyrSM

      • b00mer

        You know I use pureed beans all the time to make savory sauces/dips but I don’t think I’ve ever made anything sweet. I’m now having visions of a navy bean, cocoa powder, ice cube chocolate “milkshake”. Maybe that will be my dinner tonight… thanks for sharing Mike!

        • Thea

          b00mer: Somewhere at home I have a recipe for a chocolate bean pudding. It was pretty good if I remember correctly! I’d forgotten about that. I’ll have to look it up again.

          • Brux

            That sounds good! Please post it!

          • Thea

            Brux:

            Per your request, I took some time to go through some of older cookbooks that I thought the recipe would be in. As I browsed, I was quickly reminded how much I like these particular recipes/books. I plan to start cooking from these books again.

            The recipe I had been thinking of is from “David’s Vegan Home Cooking” by David A Gabbe. I think this book deserves more attention than it gets. Though I had forgotten that this recipe has some actual chocolate chips and sugar in it in addition to the cocoa and beans. So, it’s not quite as healthy as I had been thinking. But hey, it is dessert. It’s not bad health-wise for a pudding/dessert I think. If you divided the recipe into 4 servings, there would be 1 tablespoon of chips per serving. Just put the ingredients in a blender and adjust liquid as needed for consistency:

            2 cups cooked beans
            3/4 cup non-diary milk
            1/4 cup cocoa powder
            1/4 cup chocolate chips
            1/4 cup sugar
            2 tablespoons nut butter
            1 tsp vanilla
            1/4 tsp salt

            The opposite page of Gabbe’s book from the Chocolate Bean Pudding is a recipe that I remember absolutely loving, even though I don’t really like millet by itself. In this recipe, I thought the millet was awesome. Not too sweet. A great taste. I present to you Vanilla Millet Pudding:

            2 cups cooked millet
            3/4 cup nondairy milk
            1/4 cup maple syrup
            2 tablespoons cashew butter
            1 tablespoon vanilla (I wonder if this is a misprint and should be a teaspoon?)
            1/4 tsp salt

            To turn it into Chocolate Millet Pudding (which I remember not liking as much as the vanilla version): add an extra 1/4 cup milk. Substitute 1/4 sugar for the maple. Add 1/4 cup cocoa.

            Continuing on the cocoa theme, I haven’t tried this yet, but check out Happy Herbivore Light and Lean’s (by Lindsay Nixon) Chocolate Surprise Frosting:

            1 cup mashed sweet potato,
            2-3 soaked dates,
            1-3 tablespoon cocoa.

            The above can be used in place of “nutella” as well as a frosting. I have to remember to try this one! The book was worth this recipe idea alone.

            Everyday Happy Herbivore’s Fudge Dip has more of the ingredients that I was thinking of when I replied to b00mer above. I’ve made this recipe at least twice before and really enjoyed it:

            1 can beans, drained and rinsed
            2 tablespoons agave (I liked 3. I also made with date paste to taste once and liked that too!)
            1-6 tablespoons of cocoa powder to taste (I liked 6. Start with 1 T and go up until happy.)

            Final consistency should be like the frosting that you buy from a tub at the store. I think it is great smeared on bananas. Or just from a spoon.

            If you make any of the above recipes or a similar one that you find, let me know how you like it.

          • juliet

            Thanks for all those.. I will try with carob powder instead. I find chocolate in all forms too addictive! I have made a really nice carob brownie slab out of black beans, carob, chopped dates, avocado, coconut cream and a little coconut fat, and self rising wholemeal flour and carob powder, and some stevia. I just chucked it all in the food processor pulsed to get a good texture and cooked it. Sorry, I didn’t measure amounts. I then upped the yum on half of it by drizzling carob molasses over it once it came out of the oven. Made something similar using crunchy peanut butter as well one time.

          • Thea

            juliet: It sounds to me like you are a really good cook. I admire people who can throw a bunch of ingredients together ad-hoc and come out with a result that they would want to eat! :-) Thanks for the feedback and for sharing your idea.

        • siriusfarm

          Surprisingly that sounds really delicious!

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Yes, if it’s eaten in excess and the chocolate is full of fat then dark chocolate may lead to weight gain. Cocoa powder on the other hand could be a great choice, as it’s essentially free of fat yet still containing vital antioxidants and phytochemicals. Also, there are major differences between milk chocolate and dark chocolate, whereas dark includes more health promoting properties. If you’re going to eat chocolate while focusing on weight loss I suggest using cocoa powder or keeping it to one dark square per day as a treat.

      • Brux

        >> Cocoa powder on the other hand could be a great choice, as it’s essentially free of fat yet still containing vital antioxidants and phytochemicals.

        But it tastes worse than Brussel Sprouts though! ;-)

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          ;-) Brux, you rascal! haha. Talk to Wade he uses dates or bananas to sweeten his! Don’t tell me dates and fresh figs and/or “pear cream” (I have a recipe if you’d like) also tastes like Brussels sprouts? And furthermore (in defense of Brussels sprouts) roasting those buggers with a hint of seasoning and perhaps a touch of oil is delicious for those who really dislike them.

    • Parissa M.Kh.

      I just wanted to support previous comments regarding weight gain.
      Body weight = lean body mass + body fat
      Therefore one can increase body weight by either increasing lean body mass (preferred healthy way) or body fat (not preferred and unhealthy way). If someone with vegan diet want to increase body weight, they should focus on increasing lean body mass through increasing protein content of their food to build more muscle.

      • MikeOnRaw

        As a reminder though, the key is increasing activity if you increase intake of protein. You don’t gain lean muscle mass just by eating the protein. You need to give the protein something to do. Many people using resistance training and a macro nutrient ratio of 80-10-10 can build lean muscle mass. Most vegan body builders I have followed have recommended a higher level of protein to get the gains for the work they put in which usually results in about 20-30% of dietary intake from protein depending on who is recommending what to do what.

  • guest

    HEAVY METAL CADMIUM LEVELS in chocolate, all chocolate it seems, dark chocolate included. DR. G., is
    cadmium ingestion from chocolate for real?

    • Wade Patton

      Learn more about Cadmium and don’t be so quick to run from a single solitary natural component of a PLANT food.

      It’s not what we eat, it’s what we absorb. (Dr. Greger in the following video)

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cadmium-and-cancer-plant-vs-animal-foods/

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Someone mentioned this on another video. Do you have any links/references? We’d certainly want to know about cadmium levels in chocolate, if any! Perhaps Wade is onto something though, as what we absorb may be most important. Let’s look into this…

      • Maureen Okun

        Yes, please do look into this–heavy metals in cacao powders should be on the NF list for lab testing. But it would be very good to know, as well, about absorption rates of cadmium. By the way, if testing is in the cards, I would like to see Navitas brand raw cacao powder in the line up.

        • Neil

          Maureen,

          I subscribe to Consumer Labs. They tested Navitas–both the powder and the nibs. They both failed. The nibs contain 8.9 mcg of cadmium per serving (0.32 mcg/gram of nibs). The powder contains 13.3 mcg/serving (0.95 mcg/gram of powder). The WHO has set a limit of 0.3 mcg/g of cadmium in dried plants, which is the standard Consumer Labs used. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/41986/1/9241545100.pdf
          The total exposure to cadmium daily–food, drink, air, soil exposure–is set by the WHO at 25 mcg for a 150lb adult.

          Neil

      • Neil

        I just posted something on this topic, with numerous links. Cadmium and lead are above safe limits in essentially all cocoa powders. I pasted it below, but you may have to go to original post for the hyperlinks to work:

        Dr. Greger,

        You should mention the very high levels of cadmium in cocoa powder, which, of course is used to make chocolate. Consumer Lab has tested many chocolate bars and cocoa powders now on the market (https://www.consumerlab.com/re… unfortunately, you need a subscription to see the test results)
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/

        All of the pure cocoa powders, and cocoa nibs, tested by Consumer Labs had dangerous levels of cadmium and lead. All exceeded “safe” cadmium levels (as set by the EU and WHO; the FDA has set no “safe” cadmium level), and some products also exceeded the “safe” level of lead exposure, as set by the FDA. The chocolate bars did not exceed the safe levels of these heavy metals (based on limiting oneself to a serving), but the reason for this–according to the main researcher from Consumer Lab who responded to my query–is that the cocoa powder in bars is diluted with sugar and milk and sometimes other ingredients, whereas the powder is not. The EU is working on a directive to limit the amount of cadmium found in such products:http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health

        The cocoa plant seems to absorb cadmium and lead from the soil. Much like rice absorbs arsenic naturally. Growing such plants in contaminated soil (or fertilizing rice, for example, with chicken manure from chickens fed arsenic) only increases the amount of heavy metals the plants can take up. The UN and WHO have looked into this issue as well to determine safe levels and the possibility of labeling or banning certain products: “Cadmium levels in cocoa beans, Figure 2 can vary considerably between regions, countries and
        even between areas within a country. The area of lower concentration of cadmium in cocoa is West
        Africa; however, cocoa beans from other regions, such as South America, have inherently higher
        levels of cadmium. High levels of cadmium in these countries are probably due to the presence of
        cadmium in the soil, the use of fertilizers and other industrial activities.” ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/meetin

        So, we eat dark chocolate, or use cocoa powder, for the flavenols, and to reduce the consumption of sugar and milk found in milk chocolate and chocolate bars, but by consuming more concentrated forms of cocoa powder, we are consuming more cadmium and lead. Likely not worth it. Or, at the least, as is often the case: everything in moderation.

        Neil

        • Maureen Okun

          Thanks for the detailed info, Neil—all good to know.

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Thanks for sharing, Neil. Can you double check the links and make sure they work on your end? I can only open the WaPo article. We’ll look into this and maybe if we attract enough interest from everyone we can test cocoa powders thru the NutritionFacts Research Fund. More to come…

          In the meantime here are 13 studies on cadmium and chocolate that I could find. If anyone has more citations that would really help me out! We can look at the findings together. Thanks, Joseph

          • Neil

            Joseph, I noted in the first sentence that the links might be broken because I cut and pasted it from my original post. Just need to scroll up a bit to find original post and working links. I’ll try to edit this one though in a bit, and repaste the links.

          • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

            Thanks!

          • Neil

            I fixed the links.

          • Julie

            Joseph, I began getting more concerned about heavy metals in chocolate when my Ojio Raw Organic Cacao Powder arrived with a sticker on the box stating, “WARNING: This product may contain one or more chemicals known to the Sate of California to cause cancer, birth defects and other reproductive harm.” Not sure if I’m going to enjoy my cacao powder. Also in addition to the Consumer Labs study on cadmium in cocoa products, Natural News tested for cadmium as well as other heavy metals in cocoa. http://www.naturalnews.com/045545_cacao_powder_cadmium_lab_testing_results.html#

          • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

            Yes, stay on top of this and find products that have been tested! Someone was going to update us with more info, let’s hope that happens soon. I’ll pull the comments if we don’t get a reply by the end of week.

            Thanks, Julie!
            Joseph

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Thanks Neil. Not sure if you saw this but just like you said, Dr. Greger also said “Consumer lab did extensive cocoa testing and indeed found problems with cadmium, lead or both. They continue to test brands. As soon as they come up with one that’s clean we’ll let everyone know…”

      • Parissa M.Kh.

        I was also wondering about raw plant based protein supplements with chocolate flavor. I don’t see any reason to avoid them especially if they are organic cocoa with no added sugar or fat. But I have been told to avoid chocolate flavored protein supplements. Is there any study supporting this claim?

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Haven’t seen any, Parissa. We know artificial and “natural” flavoring should be avoided so a good label check would be in store when considering protein powders, and of course shoot for whole foods first!

          • Parissa M.Kh.

            I know artificial flavoring should be avoided but I am wondering why natural flavoring should be avoided?.. I choose raw plant based organic protein supplement. I don’t mind eating the one with no flavor, but out of curiosity, why should ‘naturally flavored’ one also be avoided?

          • Julie

            “Natural flavors” can contain many different chemicals, and can be derived from animal products. Check out the list of chemicals in natural flavorings at the bottom of this EWG article. http://www.ewg.org/foodscores/content/natural-vs-artificial-flavors

          • Parissa M.Kh.

            Thanks Julie.. That was interesting and very helpful.. I am really surprised!

      • Psych MD

        That was probably me. A week or so ago I posted to an old topic suggesting a reexamination of cocoa given the results of Consumerlab’s testing. As someone else mentioned a link won’t work. You need to be a subscriber. In addition to what has already been said I’ll add that the flavonol content varied dramatically and wasn’t necessarily related to percentage of cacao or “degree of darkness.”

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          That’s right. Thanks, Psych MD! Neil posted the the link in a more recent comment and also fixed the link. Not sure if you must be a subscriber, as I was able to use the link and view the report (or findings page). Thanks again for your input!

      • guest

        Please test commonly eaten seeds and nuts sold in USA organic markets, such as whole foods. They source from pretty much the same vendors, as far as raw organic seeds. Sunflower seeds have huge capacity (and track record) of absorbing lead from soil. Macadamias might be absorbing cyanide, and some other nuts and seeds notorious for these abilities as well.

  • Julie

    A disconcertingly large portion of the cacao grown on the Ivory Coast of West Africa is handled by child laborers, often indentured against their will. To avoid supporting child slavery, please look for a Fair Trade label on your chocolate products. Also chocolate grown in South or Central America doesn’t have child labor/slavery issues.

    • Wade Patton

      Thanks for the info. Methinks that mankind will always be doomed until he can set aside greed. Money is not bad, ’tis the love of money.

      • Brux

        Maybe it’s money, because when you have money you can put a price on everything.

        • Wade Patton

          Not money. Love of money: greed. Money facilitates non-barter societies, which can be convenient. 8-P

    • b00mer

      And if anyone’s interested, below is a list of recommended brands that offer vegan chocolate from Food Empowerment Project (also available as apple/android app). FEP goes a step beyond the fair trade label to contact companies directly to inquire about their practices.

      http://www.foodispower.org/chocolate-list/

      • Thea

        b00mer: That link is *very* helpful. Thanks! I’ve known about this problem for some time, but had not found the FEP site to get good info.

        Here’s one that is disappointing: On the Can NOT Recommend list: Dr. Fuhrman’s Cocoa Powder
        I don’t buy from Dr. Fuhrman, but I would like to think that his company was more ethical.

        I was sad to see Tofutti on the NOT Recommend list too. And Trader Joes! Dang!! :-(

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      If concerned about human welfare issues and working conditions in other countries you may be interested in Food Chains – a documentary about our farmers and where our food comes from. I never thought too much about the condition on farms for the workers and their families. Sure, a banana’s peel protects the inside from pesticide exposure but what about the families living on large-scale banana farms ingesting pesticides and herbicides daily? I am not sure what is “right,” but for me, eating organic is not only about what’s good for my body, but what’s good for the planet and humankind. Thanks, Julie for this great reminder about where our food comes from and who grows it.

      • Thea

        Joseph: re: “… for me, eating organic is not only about what’s good for my body, but what’s good for the planet and humankind.” Yes, yes, yes!!! Well said.

        I’m so grateful that the two values (healthy me and healthy everyone/everything else) go hand in hand.

      • Tikiri

        Well said Joseph. Cannot agree with you more.

      • Roger Comstock

        There are problems that need to be addressed around farm conditions and child labour, no doubt about it. But taking the jump to “don’t support product y from region x, because child labour is used” as a commenter above requests, or “only eat local organic” and the like, is short sited.

        If I were to become aware that child labour was being used in my city in a highly developed economy, I’d be as quick as anyone else to try to put a stop to it. Where child labour is being used in an impoverished poorly developed economy, and being aware that my boycotting of the products they produce may leave the families of those children without sufficient resources to continue to feed and cloth themselves adequately, I would think twice. Same things goes with those dreaded ‘sweat shops’ producing so many goods for the developed world. When it is their best option, it’s their best option. We need to develop a means for these people to thrive, and cutting off their best option for income is often not the best way, and may do more harm. We need long term thinking on these matters. In the long run, organically produced plant foods may be the best for humankind. If we cut out non-organic farming tomorrow, we would devastate the lives of hundreds of millions of people, if not more. Let’s not jump the gun.

        • Thea

          Roger: We are not just talking “child labor”. We are talking out and out child ***slavery***, where children are stolen or sold to the farms, never allowed to leave the farm and physically abused, especially if they try to escape. This obviously doesn’t happen at every chocolate farm, but child slavery is black and white enough to me to take action. The solution is to pick from manufacturers (sometimes specific products of some manufacturers) who do the research and only buy cocoa from farms which do not practice slavery.

          Here’s an article about child slavery on cocoa farms:
          http://www.foodispower.org/slavery-in-the-chocolate-industry/

          From the above article: “Cases often involve acts of physical violence, such as being whipped for working slowly or trying to escape. Reporters have also documented cases where children and adults were locked in at night to prevent them from escaping. Former cocoa slave Aly Diabate told reporters, “The beatings were a part of my life. I had seen others who tried to escape. When they tried, they were severely beaten.” Drissa, a recently freed slave who had never even tasted chocolate, experienced similar circumstances. When asked what he would tell people who eat chocolate made from slave labor, he replied that they enjoyed something that he suffered to make, adding, “When people eat chocolate, they are eating my flesh.

          Consumers play an essential role in diminishing the food industry’s injustices. Child slavery on cocoa farms is a difficult issue to fully address because the most serious abuses take place across the world; however, that does not mean our responsibility is reduced…. Taking all of this into consideration… F.E.P. has created a list with vegan chocolates that we do and do not recommend based on the sourcing of the cocoa.”

          b00mer posted a link to the part of the site that lists brands which have been researched and cleared of participating in child slavery. That’s a pretty easy decision for me.

  • Alyssa

    What about carob powder? Is this better or worse than cacao powder? Dr. McDougall recommends carob in lieu of cacao, but I am not clear why. Could you explain this?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Great question. Carob is a bit different than chocolate. I believe it has less caffeine. I am not as familiar with the research on carob. What does Dr. McDougall say about it? Do you have any links you can share with everyone? Thanks, Alyssa.

      • Alyssa

        Hi Joseph, Here is the link https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/free-mcdougall-program/steps-to-recovery/foods-not-allowed/. Unfortunately, I cannot find an explanation. I was hoping you would know. And, following this video I am really wondering if carob powder would have health promoting benefits like cacao.

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          We actually have a video on carob that slipped my mind. It looks like great stuff! It may be even better than cocoa. Check out the nutrient information on carob vs. chocolate. Carob doesn’t have any caffeine and has more calcium and zinc than chocolate, but less iron. Another RD compares the two pointing out that the brand/type may have a lot to do with quality/nutrition.

      • largelytrue

        McDougall’s position on caffeine is suspicious but tolerant of reduced and steady consumption, I’d say. For most people that come to him he just wants them to transition to healthy eating in a way that they can live with. He has said that at his clinic he serves black tea, which takes people a notch down in consumption and away from coffee: https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/videos/mcdougalls-moments/coffee/

        However his free program doesn’t seem to be very up to date, and to this readership he advises avoiding black tea, with no comment made on green:
        https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/free-mcdougall-program/steps-to-recovery/foods-not-allowed/

        The same source advises substituting carob for ‘chocolate’, with no mention of cocoa powder.

        However, I found a newsletter where he states that he does use fat-free cocoa powder at his clinic:

        “We serve a few chocolate desserts (made with cocoa powder and sugar) at the McDougall Program and many such desserts on our adventure trips to Costa Rica. We use a product called Wonderslim Wondercocoa (100% pure cocoa powder, fat-free and 99.7% caffeine-free) for our chocolate brownies and puddings. Why do we serve desserts with chocolate? Because people love them. The McDougall Diet is not prison food. For most people, a little chocolate is not going to adversely affect their health. I put this food in the same category as other rich plant foods like nuts, seed, olives, and avocados. Trim healthy people can use these rich ingredients in small amounts.” (https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2012nl/jan/fav5.htm )

        As for carob, a key feature compared with cocoa powder is not just that it is lower in caffeine, but that it is lower in fat. The natural unsweetened cocoa powders that you can get off the shelf are 50% fat by calories and about half a gram of saturated fat per tablespoon, much of that being palmitic acid. This is concerning to his diet plan, especially considering that there are ways in which sick people bend the rules or do something risky without knowing. Rather than expose people to the issue of excess consumption when amounts are totally unlimited, it seems safer to just have people who prefer carob powder, which is always naturally fat free, or very nearly so.

        In McDougall’s view what’s beneficial about the diet for cardiovascular disease and diabetes is primarily what the diet excludes. Starch is what one relies on for calories after deciding to eliminate meat, eggs, and dairy, added fats, and to restrict fatty plant foods, rather than the vehicle for all the diet’s health benefits per se. While the vegetable content of diets is important for minerals and vitamins, and may be healthy in other ways, he does not advocate for particular foods very often as far as I can see, nor recommend that everyone partake. In his view, a wide range of preindustrial people on relatively high-carbohydrate peasant diets seem to have avoided heart disease, and it doesn’t seem that any particular food or food antioxidant was crucial to that. Therefore, and especially in light of the relatively tentative research, the cardiovascular claims for superfoods are suspect in one who has already taken measures to control the disease, and can lead you off the path from following the main guidelines diligently.

        Carob also does seem to present less of a concern with heavy metals by nature, since it’s derived mostly from pith rather than seeds, which tend to have pathways for concentrating trace minerals. However when push comes to shove I think that a lot of the practical benefits that may be attributed to it are from creating a brighter line and a firmer boundary between your own diet and what the rest of the world allows. I had a friend whose family had some profoundly mistaken beliefs on the virtues of various ‘natural’ ‘alternatives’, including carob-based candies. I don’t think that the carob “M&Ms” and so forth were appreciably more healthy or anything, but because it restricted them to only a few products and brands from the food co-op, it probably contributed to their very small intake of candy and pastry overall.

        Avoiding cocoa even to the point of not craving the taste probably helps to avoid the temptation to indulge in the chocolaty things that you went for before, and makes it almost impossible for someone to tempt you into willful ignorance by claiming that a special treat or dessert is made with “just” cocoa powder. That said, there are many paths to the same goal of maintaining a dietary pattern and ensuring that it doesn’t fall below an acceptable standard. I personally choose not to indulge a sweet tooth and consider the American conception of ‘dessert’ to be an entirely superfluous meal, suitable for a few special occasions at most. However I do use some cocoa powder as an agent for ‘darkening’ the flavor of and lending variety to certain savory dishes, but my overall daily consumption is small in comparison with other spices.

  • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

    Did I hear a bit of colonel Jessup: “You can’t handle the truth!”
    May I add: We live in a world that has diseases and those diseases need to be guarded by men with syringes!
    :-)

    • Stewart E.

      I will shamelessly steal your addition. It captures lots o meaning. Thanks

  • Nate Macanian

    My only problem with this video is that it does not mention sugar at all. How can we be surprised by the results of the intervention trial, when participants were presumably given sugar-loaded chocolate? Do similar studies show the same results in regards to weight gain when they are given low-sugar, stevia-sweetened or sugar-free chocolate?

    • Wade Patton

      Much of my cocoa consumption is sweetened only by fruit sugar-as in super-ripe bananas. Just offering an another healthy choice.

  • Fred

    I was ingesting 2 85% dark chocolate pieces per day…involving maybe 25 G cocoa butter. Decided this might be causing skin issues. So I went with 1/2 tsp instant coffee…1/2 tsp organic cocoa powder…1/2 tsp MCT oil…in hot water as a morning drink. I also use MCT oil in soups.

    Purina makes a dog food for older dogs that contains MCT oil…supposed to brighten them up some…I give my dog a rounded tsp of organic coconut oil …60% MCT oil… each day.

    There is also a patent involving using NAC as a supplement for dogs to extend healthy life.

    The MCT oils are supposed to replace glucose as a fuel in the brain…for older animals…including humans.

    Probably would be better overall if they used coconut oil to make chocolate rather than cocoa butter?

  • Naomi Mordi

    Hi Dr Greger. I think you didn’t mention the benefits of cocoa, even though it’s in the video. It’s like you repeated something else at 4:05.

  • Neil

    HIGH LEVELS ofCADMIUM and LEAD in COCOA POWDER

    Dr. Greger,

    You should mention the very high levels of cadmium in cocoa powder, which, of course is used to make chocolate. Consumer Lab has tested many chocolate bars and cocoa powders now on the market (https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Cocoa_Powders_and_Chocolates_Sources_of_Flavanols/cocoa-flavanols/; unfortunately, you need a subscription to see the test results)

    All of the pure cocoa powders, and cocoa nibs, tested by Consumer Labs had dangerous levels of cadmium and lead. All exceeded “safe” cadmium levels (as set by the EU and WHO; the FDA has set no “safe” cadmium level), and some products also exceeded the “safe” level of lead exposure, as set by the FDA. The chocolate bars did not exceed the safe levels of these heavy metals (based on limiting oneself to a serving), but the reason for this–according to the main researcher from Consumer Lab who responded to my query–is that the cocoa powder in bars is diluted with sugar and milk and sometimes other ingredients, whereas the powder is not. The EU is working on a directive to limit the amount of cadmium found in such products: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_food-safety/docs/com_cadmium_201405_en.pdf

    The cocoa plant seems to absorb cadmium and lead from the soil. Much like rice absorbs arsenic naturally. Growing such plants in contaminated soil (or fertilizing rice, for example, with chicken manure from chickens fed arsenic) only increases the amount of heavy metals the plants can take up. The UN and WHO have looked into this issue as well to determine safe levels and the possibility of labeling or banning certain products: “Cadmium levels in cocoa beans, Figure 2 can vary considerably between regions, countries and
    even between areas within a country. The area of lower concentration of cadmium in cocoa is West
    Africa; however, cocoa beans from other regions, such as South America, have inherently higher
    levels of cadmium. High levels of cadmium in these countries are probably due to the presence of
    cadmium in the soil, the use of fertilizers and other industrial activities.” ftp://ftp.fao.org/codex/meetings/cccf/cccf9/cf09_06e.pdf

    So, we eat dark chocolate, or use cocoa powder, for the flavenols, and to reduce the consumption of sugar and milk found in milk chocolate and chocolate bars, but by consuming more concentrated forms of cocoa powder, we are consuming more cadmium and lead. Likely not worth it. Or, at the least, as is often the case: everything in moderation.

    Neil

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Thanks for fixing and reposting this important importation. After reading it and confirming with Dr. Greger it looks like (to repost your link) Consumer Lab did extensive cocoa testing and indeed found problems with cadmium, lead or both. They continue to test brands. As soon as they come up with one that’s clean we’ll let everyone know…

      Please keep us all posted as well! Thanks so much Neil.

      • Wade Patton

        Well piddle* on Consumer Lab dotcom. I signed up for a “24 hour pass” but guess what. That 24-hour pass only gives you 24 hours to read THREE PRE-SELECTED “REPORTS” (I can read 24 reports in 3 hours…geez). None of which i give a care* about. So they can carry right on with their hyper-commercial endeavor. I’ll not be a part of it. No thanks. *my normally colorful language toned down for family hour.

        So THANKS AGAIN to ALL that make this site ROCK with info, only asking for participation and donations in return. I can deal with that! WP

    • Joshua Pritikin

      Since you are a subscriber, which cocoa powder offers the lowest levels of contamination?

      • Neil

        To your question, of the 8 brands of popular cocoa powders tested (e.g., Nestle, Ghiraldi, Trader Joe’s, etc.), Nestle Toll House Cocoa had the lowest cadmium level at 0.55 mcg/g, which still exceeds WHO safe standards, and was deemed “Not Approved” by Consumer Lab. And, Nestle also had lead contamination at 0.27 mcg/g.

        Consumer labs went a little more in-depth than just lowest/highest in
        cadmium and lead contamination. They also looked at the amount of
        flavenols to find out which of the products was the best buy: most
        flavenols for lowest cost. But if it’s about antioxidants, there are other sources, without the heavy metal contamination.

  • Juan Live

    “Although chocolate is a very fatty food, it does not become rancid because it is
    so rich in antioxidants. This quality was exploited during World War II, when
    there were times during combat when U.S. troops were rationed three chocolate
    bars a day as their only meals” Waterhouse AL, Shirley JR, Donovan JL. Antioxidants in chocolate. Lancet
    1006;348:834.

  • Rik Brutsaert

    Chocolate has some negative effects, especially if consumed raw. Cacao will kill canines, similarly cacao consumed raw will damage your liver if consumed in excess. Theobromine is a neurotoxin that addictive and is the component that people crave. No animal will eat the seed portion of the cacao plant in the wild because it is toxic. I would consider other foods much, much better for you than cacao, with or without the milk and sugar.

    • Brux

      We should all be clear that the only reason people are talking about chocolate is chocolate candies, sweets, deserts, etc. The problem is truly that chocolate when it tastes so good is not good for us, and when it doesn’t …. ptoooey! … why bother! ;-)

      • Thea

        Brux: I get your general point, but I don’t think it is complete. People put cocoa powder in mole sauces and the result is very tasty. I think there are several savory type dishes that can get an extra boost of complex flavor from having some cocoa powder thrown in. I used to make chocolate oatmeal for breakfast. My dish included steel cut oats along with cocoa powder, bananas and dates, etc. It had a nice strong chocolate taste, was very good, and I believe quite healthy. Some people like to throw cocoa powder into smoothies or home made frozen “ice cream” made up of bananas and cocoa powder.

        My point is: You are right that most people are thinking chocolate bars and cake when they think, ‘chocolate’. But I think one of the points that Dr. Greger has tried to get across in his set of videos on chocolate is that while we must take the pro-chocolate hype with a heaping of common sense, cocoa powder can be part of a very healthy diet if you happen to want that chocolate taste in a yummy way without the downsides of chocolate desserts.

        • Brux

          Hey Thea, I think you missed my general point, which is, that I seem to hear a lot of people speak with pride about the things they eat that taste really vile in pursuit of their good health. Your mole example does not really fit what I was saying, because if something tastes good and you like you … great, that is what cooking is supposed to be about.

          On the other hand if we expect people to buy these health foods, and usually these health foods are more expensive than regular commodities.

          The oatmeal thing you mention sounds good, but I like having blueberries in my oatmeal, and I am thinking it is not a good idea to ruin a good packet of blueberries because they might make a sprinkling of chocolate nibs takes a bit less bad! ;-)

          It’s just not something I would consider doing regularly. Are we really so low on anti-oxidants that we have to make our food taste like medicine for the rest of our extended, or does it just seem longer, live? ;-)

          So, by the way, I think I get the point Dr. Greger is trying to make, and there are usually a few in each video. For example another point he is continually making is the outrageous lengths the commercial food industry will go through to try to make their products sound good for your health.

          But to me, chicken mole does not really have that “yummy chocolate taste” as you called it. A little chocolate dessert now and then is not going to kills us, and at least if you still can I would recommend people who like chocolate just have a little chocolate if they can stop at a little. It’s a big challenge to me, but one preferable to eating cocoa nibs or trying to make my food taste like chocolate. That’s just me.

          The chocolate banana idea sounds like it might be good. I have an Omega 8006 juicer that will make banana ice cream from frozen bananas … that might be worth a try place of Ben & Jerry’s.

          I am just commenting on that I think it is bizarre the misery people will put themselves through in pursuit of real or even imagined health gains – that was my main point in case I was unclear.

          • Thea

            Brux: I hear you. I don’t disagree with your main point at all. We can eat very tasty food and still be healthy. No need for self flagellation.

          • Rik Brutsaert

            I’m talking about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wArks4mczm4 that is a problem with raw cacao. I myself experienced really bad symptoms when I ground up raw cacao and chugged it down with almond milk, thinking it was healthy. I got jacked up and had chronic fatigue like symptoms, maybe because my liver was overloaded. I’m not sure if this carries over to cooked chocolate as well.

          • Thea

            Rik: I’m glad you were able to figure out what food was causing your trouble. I’m glad we have choices between raw and non-raw cacoa powder. Taking your experience into account along with other people’s experiences, I think it is possible that cacao is like other foods in that there is a percentage of people who have bad reactions when they eat it. But for other people it is just fine.

    • FYI

      Theobromine poisoning or chocolate poisoning is an overdose reaction to thexanthine alkaloid theobromine,(which belong to a group of chemicals called methylxanthines) found in chocolate, tea, cola beverages,[1] açaí berries,[citation needed] and some other foods. Lethal (LD50) doses of theobromine have only been published for humans, cats, dogs, rats, and mice; these differ by a factor of 6 across species (see the table in this article). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine_poisoning

      Dogs and certain other animals, such as horses and cats, cannot metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans can; this causes the above effects to be much more severe than is the case with humans. The specific notable side effects of toxic levels of theobromine in dogs includes: diarrhea; vomiting; increased urination; muscle twitching; excessive panting; hyperactive behavior; whining; dehydration; digestive problems; seizures; and rapid heart rate. Some of these symptoms, like the rapid heart rate, can ultimately be fatal to the dog. http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/02/why-chocolate-is-bad-for-dogs/

      The smaller the animal the less they can metabolize. Different kinds of chocolate contain different levels. The lethal dose of theobromine poisoning is 100-200mg per kg.- http://www.cat-world.com.au/chocolate-poisoning-in-cats#sthash.G0bMzpkj.dpuf

  • Tikiri

    As much as I hated to hear this message, I have to say this was a great video that got me laughing out loud. Well done to Dr Gregor and Team. So in the end – just to make sure I understood this right – is sugarless, organic dark chocolate with 75%+ cocoa still bad for you…? I’m hoping you’ll say no, but will try to keep an open mind.

    • Thea

      Tikiri: I know. My first reaction was, “Say it isn’t so!!!”

      My 2 cents is: I think it is helpful to be more clear than just using the phrase “bad for you”. Here’s what I would say: High percentage dark chocolate is a calorie dense food that can cause weight gain just like any other calorie dense food. But unlike meat, dairy and eggs, chocolate doesn’t have lots of links to serious diseases. The opposite since as Dr. Greger points out, cocoa comes from a seed.

      Rather than saying “chocolate is bad for you”, I would say that the take-home message is that the general person can have some of that high quality chocolate for dessert now and then (or very small amounts daily?) and have no impact on disease risk.

      • Tikiri Herath

        Thank you Thea and very well said indeed!

        • Matthew Smith

          One study in elderly men over a 15 year period found that dark chocolate reduced all cause mortality by 50 percent.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16505260/

          I plan on eating a lot of dark chocolate when I am older. Fifty percent is a very large reduction in odds of death, you’d have to eat half a can of beans every day for the same benefit. I am sure Dr. Greger in his new book “How Not to Die” will enumerate the other foods that reduce all cause mortality to such an extent. Foods like beans, walnuts, green tea, berries, beets, garlic, and other fresh fruit and vegetables.

          • largelytrue

            That’s a pretty big judgment from a cross-sectional study in people who are living unhealthily. What makes you think your benefit or harm will be similar to the one reported when you are 60-80? Will your BMI be the mean BMI of these elderly, which was obese in all tertiles? Will your cholesterol be through the roof at 230+ mg/dL with TC:HDL hovering in the neighborhood of 5.5?

          • Matthew Smith

            Thank you. I will have to watch my health to make sure that that situation is not my reality. I do not understand if the fact that they were so unhealthy is because they ate chocolate or if they lived longer despite their poor health while eating chocolate. I did not know this was a study of such unhealthy people among the elderly. I believe my benefit will be similar, that there will be a reduction in my risk of mortality because of the general consensus that cocoa is a health food and the fact that the study went on 15 years, there seems to have been a life extension effect. I am disappointed that nuts have a longevity benefit of two years according to this site, I was hoping it was more. The search is on for the next green tea, ten cups extending longevity 12 years. Ten cups of matcha a day? A pint of blueberries a day? I think scientists have a good idea of what would be an ideal diet. I think I will gain weight as I age and I plan on being as Vegan as I can stand an take 2 grams of Niacin a day for the rest of my life to avoid the lipid situation you describe. Did you know that among some New York Jewish men their HDL is said to be genetically above 60? They are believed to be a very long lived population that is not covered in the Blue Zones. Does living in a state’s or nation’s capitol extend life? To relate back to the video, these were obese people, which I did not know and you point out, who were not told to stop eating chocolate. Did they eat it knowing they were unhealthy or did the researchers not tell them they were unhealthy? I ate chocolate rarely, and I thank you for suggesting I am living healthy, and have bought a bag of Costco superfruits dark chocolate which I snack on. I guess I don’t find cocoa convenient to me. Where would you buy cocoa? It’s probably cheaper than dark chocolate.

          • Matthew Smith

            In the study they say “Cocoa intake was inversely associated with the consumption of meat and coffee.” So vegetarians eat more chocolate. Maybe the longevity benefit was due to eating less meat, which you knew about all along.

            http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=409867

    • Parissa M.Kh.

      the answer is NO.. as Dr. Gregor mentioned, we have ‘healthy’ chocolate and ‘unhealthy’ ones. The one you are asking ‘sugarless, organic dark chocolate’ should have no adverse effect if consumed in moderation.

    • https://plus.google.com/113977482237930980918 Joshua Pritikin

      What about a mixture of cocoa powder, date sugar, almond flour, and a little water? Voila! Healthy chocolate.

  • Wade Patton

    wait a dang minute, I thought we were talking about salt?

  • Rhombopterix

    Speaking of space nutrition, I read with interest the recent stories about the homegrown salad on ISS. Here is what I said on Centauridreams.org (devoted to interstellar/permanent human occupation of space):

    The lettuce LOOKED fabulous. Micro-g seemed to suit it fine. I admit that as a whole plant foods vegan I may be biased however there are a series of powerful factual arguments for eating plants in space.

    Nutrition – plants are far better for humans than animal products

    Thermodynamics – plants win again. Producing meat in space is insanely inefficient if even possible.

    Safety – Virtually all instances of food poisoning can be traced to meat or fecal matter on plants.

    I would take the opportunity to highlight more recent science that shows antioxidants from whole plant foods (that means unprocessed, refined foods …no oil, sugar, white starches) are effective at protecting from reactive oxygen species. Taking supplemental antioxidants, isolated from plants, have little effect and sometimes cause harm.

    I have great deal of interest in this subject. I am sure NASA/ESA/CNSA are moving ahead with in depth R&D. Although none of the major food science dept.s seem to be working on it, to my knowledge.

    • Rhombopterix

      Will radiation be the new scurvy? Space-fareres are exposed to much more radiation than earth folks. Wouldn’t there be a big benefit from an antioxidant-rich diet via WPFs compared to “tube-food” supplemented with extracted goodies?

      I mention this because the techno geeks who plan these missions rarely take into account the importance of diet. The special nutritional needs of life in space need to be teased out now, at least some first steps. For example, I would guess that a person would burn a lot less calories floating in a tin can. Thus making nutrition density an imperative.

      would be nice if people interested in cross-platform discussions could get something started…of course I may be missing the vast internetwerk that already exists on this subject, pray tell?

  • Psych MD

    See below:

  • Psych MD

    Sorry. I tried to paste the graph from consumerlabs showing the results of flavonol and heavy metal content but it didn’t work.

  • HaltheVegan

    In these comments, I’ve seen a lot of pro’s and con’s for eating cocoa (as opposed to chocolate), but I’ve seen no mention of the positive effect that cocoa has on arterial function as indicated by a previous NutritionFacts .org video (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dark-chocolate-and-artery-function/). In this video, between 2 g and 5 g of cocoa powder will dilate the arteries having the greatest effect 2 hours after ingestion and then waning back to normal after 6 hrs. Question: would it be a good idea to eat, say, 3 g of cocoa 3 times a day to relax arteries? And would doing this perhaps lower blood pressure?

  • Heidi

    great, now I have chocolate cravings. hahaha! But seriously, this is good information for me. I eat 85% cocoa dark chocolate, a couple of squares a day. Maybe I’ll cut that back to a couple of squares, two days a week. I love the stuff. Since ditching coffee, it is just about my only indulgence and I am reticent to give it up completely. But I have some poundage to lose…yeah, good info here.

  • Dorival

    Hi Dr. Michael,

    I have a question..

    I have used pure 100% organic cocoa in the morning with my porridge oats, berrys, nuts,
    bananas.. all without sugar. But I read that chocolate has
    high doses of theobromine and this in addition to dilate blood
    vessels , can cause problems such as depression and even in the prostate
    .

    I saw his videos , and you recommend the use of pure
    cocoa.

    Now, how is it?

    I hope your answer,

    Best regards,

    Dorival Bonasio

    Sao Paulo-Brazil

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I’ve never herd of theobromine causing depression. Your oatmeal on the other hand sounds delicious and nutritious!

  • http://www.gordosoft.com Gordo

    Just another anecdote to add. In the last year I changed my diet, I eat far more dark chocolate than I ever ate before (but not more than 2 squares a day) plus daily flax seed (1 tbsp) plus daily cocoa powder (1 tbsp) all of which have sat. fat, and my LDL plunged to 50, HDL rose to 50 as well. I’m not saying the cocoa and chocolate alone caused this, but I am confident these levels of intake won’t cause lipid profile problems! I also switch to a plant based, lower calorie diet which I’m sure had the biggest impact on both lipid profile and overall exceptionally good health.