10 top tips to spot healthy chocolate 31



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So, you’ve probably heard that nutritionists and dieticians are now saying that chocolate, in moderation, can be good for you – that it contains amino acids, minerals and antioxidants which can improve cardiovascular function and even reduce cancer.

All of this is perfectly true. Cacao (cocoa) in its pure form does hold all of these vital ingredients but, chances are, you’re getting very little of it in the standard chocolate bars that you buy. And all too often, the goodness of cacao is drowned out by other ingredients such as soy lecithin, flavours, colours, preservatives, hydrogenated vegetable oils, hydrolysed milk protein, emulsifiers, none of which have any real nutritional benefit and in fact, might be doing you damage.

How to spot ‘good’ chocolate from ‘bad’ chocolate

1. Read the ingredients rather than the nutritional panel

2. If the ingredient list reads like a chemical laboratory or is extensively long, it’s not healthy – in this case, step away from the chocolate.

3. Milk and white chocolate use flavours and milk protein concentrates therefore can be dismissed immediately from being a healthy chocolate

4. In the ingredient list, if the world flavour is present, put it back.

5. Soy lecithin is an emulsifier that is not required by a good chocolatier – it’s an added ingredient that is not necessary and is a red flag as to the quality.

6. Vegetable oil of any sort has no place in a great chocolate.

7. Look for cacao liquor or paste, cacao butter and cacao powder, these are nutritious ingredients that make up a great chocolate.

8. The amount of sugar is also important. A good quality chocolate will have one type of sugar and it will be listed toward the end of the ingredient list.

9. The type of sugar is also important. Rapadura, organic cane juice, or unrefined sugars are three excellent and nutritious sugars.

10. If the chocolate has ingredients other then the cacao and the sugar make sure they are real such as; coconut oil, sea salt, nuts, seeds, dried fruit (sulfur and oil free), chilli, lime oil, peppermint oil, goji berries, coconut, orange and any other real food.

Finding these ‘good’ chocolates is harder than you might think. Most of the more popular chocolate brands on the shelves have been refined and processed to the point that anything remotely healthy has been removed. Still, they do exist or, if you have the time, preparing your own chocolate treats can ensure that you know exactly what you’re eating.

Make your own using Cacao Wafers, Rapadura Sugar, Seaweed Salt and Coconut Oil. Here is the link to help you make your own chocolate:

What type of chocolate do you like best? Do you know what its nutritional benefits are? If you did would you stop eating it? Tell us below.

Cyndi O'Meara

Cyndi O'Meara wrote her bestselling book 'Changing Habits, Changing Lives' in 1997. Cyndi now writes diet protocols, cook books, does national tours, has a line of products and is prolific in the media as an expert on all things health. What makes Cyndi so interesting is her different perspective, she is by no means a typical nutritionist. She loves fat, butter and even chocolate and would never count a calorie or recommend anything low-fat. She's all about real foods that our ancestors, has never taken an antibiotic in her life and have been eating for thousands of years and is always on the hunt for new and exciting foods for the Australian consumer. http://www.changinghabits.com.au/

  1. Four squares of dark chocolate each evening don’t care if it’s healthy or not it is enjoyable to me.

    4 REPLY
    • I would never purchase Nestle. Back in the 70’s this company, known as the Baby Killers, filtered into third world countries to sell their baby formulas where once women always breast fed their babies. Nestle employed women dressed as nurses to infiltrate hospitals with their propaganda to gain sales. The result was devastating, so many babies died through unsterilised water, a huge percentage of the salary would go towards formula, this formula was watered down to last longer, other products with the word ‘milk’ was purchased instead, breast feeding was used as a birth control inhibiting ovulation and babies were spaced three years apart. I could go on and on but you can see where I am coming from. I love chocolate….especially Lindt!

    • Love the fact that you did some research Kate. Nestle are one of my banned companies because they are liars and cheats. I would like to know why us over 60s have this fixation with chocolate. Seems to come up a lot in our news feed. Not that I mind because I am a chocoholic.

    • Oh dear if you dig deep enough you will find most of the giant food company’s are manipulating societal needs. Vegetables supposedly Australian but grown in China and grown with fertiliser comprising human faeces, we have to be vigilant these days.

  2. It is good to know that list of ingredients,thank you. I also steer clear of anything with long lists of chemicals especially chocolates or any food stuffs. Looking forward to trying these ideas out!

  3. If you buy Cadburys or Nestle you are supporting Halal . Buy Lindt at least you are supporting a company that is building a huge factory in Australia

    2 REPLY
    • And full of sugar and other rubbish ingredients. What on earth is wrong with halal for Heaven’s sake? Other than bigotry?

    • Christina I think you need to do some reading on Halal certification. Companies who wish to sell goods to Muslims have to pay money for this certification to support Muslim beliefs which in turn is passed on to consumers

  4. Chocolate is great for me. I agree regarding the halal and cannot understand why such things are certified like that. I thought halal was the way the animals were slaughtered. What as that to do with lots of products that now carry the certification.?

    2 REPLY
    • Marjorie – halal is about the preparation of foods (and other things eg cosmetics) and the types of foods allowed eaten, not just the slaughter of animals.

    • More profits for the “multinational corporations” attracting customers from non-christian sector! I look past all these certifications, buy my favourite chocolate bar & indulge! Might as well die happy!

  5. I avoid anything with the halal certificate on, bega, Vegemite, wittakers chocolate, even beef jerky!!!

  6. I’m trying to not purchase anything with the halal certificate … It’s a complete extortion . Why should we be put in this position ? Reading every label,not just for ingredients but now the halal certification . Shameful .

  7. I make my own dark chocolate from pure raw cacao, cocoa butter and rice malt syrup. Also put raw cacao on my oats every morning. Pure goodness. Have not eaten commercial chocolate for over a year now. Far too sweet.

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