Doctor's Note

Check out these other videos on cacao:
Dark Chocolate and Artery Function
A Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Fat Burning Via Flavonoids

And check out the sequel: Is Carob Good For You?

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the sequel, Is Carob Good For You?. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

    • martygobi

      Do you use raw cocoa or the dutch? Is your cocoa heated or processed? I am very confused as to what form of chocolate is praised in this and other videos. Is it the ground up powder from raw chocolate beans, still completely raw, that you add to your vegan ice-cream? Thank you.

  • I have a teaspoon of cocoa powder in my coffee every morning. Satisfies my chocolate craving and tastes fabulous :> I remember hearing about a Canadian study on cocoa consumption and reduction in skin cancer-I think it’s ongoing.

  • Darcie

    There was a study done in 2008 stating woman who ate more chocolate had lower bone density. Do you have anymore information on this potential problem with chocolate

    • Helga_R

      it could actually linked for milk consumption. look for milk-bone-density video somewhere at this site.

  • David

    When adding cocoa to hot water, I notice it gets in my teeth. What problems might that cause, until you get to brush? Thank you.

  • Erin Tucci

    Hi Dr. Greger, every morning I wake up with the craving to eat about 1-2 ounces of plain pecans topped with bits of dates I cut up with a few pieces of crushed cocoa beans that I stick in the dates on top of the pecans. I really like to eat this in the morning for antioxidents and the boost of energy but since I end up eating about 2 tablespoons of it every morning I clock in about 9.3 grams of saturated fat. Do the cholesterol combating components of cocoa neutralize the effects of its fats or does it pose health problems and possible weight gain?
    Thank you for all of your work! You are the best!
    Erin T :)

  • CallHimOutPerson

    Wow, this M.D never answered ANY of the questions even though he’s had like 3 years in a couple cases.

    Guess I’m not really going to be taking this as a trusted source or all too reputable.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Sorry about that. I am sure he would have liked to but this site has gotten very busy over the past years, which is why I am now consulting with Dr. Greger and trying to answer everyone’s questions. If any arise please let us know and I’ll do my best to help.

  • scarlet yona

    Doctor , is it ok to take cocoa powder for pregnancy?

  • Anyah

    My question is regarding oxalates in cocoa. I have been plant based for 4 years. For at least 2 years I have been consuming spices in my morning tea based on research on this site (as updated in the new book). I include amla, turmeric, Ceylon cinnamon, cayenne, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, black pepper, and cocoa powder, and I top it off with almond milk. It’s spicy and delicious. But I am wondering if the oxalates (in the 1 Tablespoon of natural, not ditched, cocoa) are blocking the absorption of calcium in the almond milk and other breakfast items as well as the 500 mg calcium supplement which was also taken in the morning (and which I just gave up thanks to your research).

    My recent dexa scan shows “significant” bone loss since my scan 4 years ago (and during that time I have broken an ankle and an elbow, and an MRI shows stenosis and deteriorating discs in my lower back, with one disc just about gone). I am NOT blaming this on my plant based diet, I’m just trying to get it right. It was discovered that I was vitamin D deficient 2 years ago and I have been taking D3 for that. And I have increased my daily exercise.

    In addition, with cessation of the calcium supplement, I am researching how to increase calcium intake using food. I am following the daily dozen (thanks for the book!!!) and aiming for the 1200 mg (recommended by my doctor). My research turned up an article about oxalates in cocoa I know that oxalates in spinach and swiss chard block calcium absorption – does cocoa have the same effect? A cup of almond milk gives me 450 mg but am I blocking absorption by eating a tablespoon of natural cocoa powder at the same time? Should I cut the cocoa entirely or simply cut back? Thanks for your help!

  • Shawn

    Although the video states that the fat in chocolate is not good for you, I cannot find any reference in the three sources to substantiate that claim. The only reference to the fat content related to the potential for weight gain and that weight gain can lead to other health issues, not the fat in chocolate itself. It would be helpful is Dr. Greger or Dr. Gonzales would clarify this point.

  • baggman744

    Cadmium in chocolate!? OPEN Question: On the Doc’s advice, I’ve added a couple of tbls. of Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (the exact brand pictured in his video) to my oatmeal. Then, I came across this: a 2014 warning to Hershey for high levels of cadmium in it’s products. A little surfing later, seems Hershey denies it & says its heavy metal levels are fine, safe, meets gov. standards, etc. Then I find this: and of course I’m not paying to see the results. Also, you’ll note many organic brands didn’t do any better. So, cadmium in cocoa & cacao, is it worth the risk to eat 2 or 3 table spoons daily or not? Like most things in nutrition, expose/ dosage over time matters. Admittingly, I’m now ambivalent of daily cocoa powder. Any & all info greatly appreciated, good health to you all.

  • Tess

    is there any difference between cocoa and cacao? is one more nutritionally beneficial than the other?

    • NFModeratorKatie

      Great question! Dr. G actually explains this on pages 263-64 in his latest book, How Not to Die. The removal of fat from cacao beans to make cocoa powder actually improves the nutritional profile. This is because cocoa butter is one of the rare saturated plant fats (along with coconut and palm kernel oils) that can raise your cholesterol.

  • A A

    Lol, back to the basics!