Is Dark Chocolate Good For Your Health? Or does someone just want you to think it is?
Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 17, 2007
Questioning The Motives of the Chocolate Industry — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at CatherineBlogs.com)
Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me. Could dark chocolate be good for your? Could it help lower your blood pressure? Cure symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
When news of scientific studies about the benefits of dark chocolate came out a few months ago, I thought…maybe there could be something to this, it seemed odd, but still possible? And, I wouldn’t have had too much reason to doubt these claims…until they just took the whole thing a little bit too far.
I first became skeptical when I read that another new study found dark chocolate could help with symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It didn’t seem to me that we needed scientific research to prove that a product with caffeine in it would increase a persons energy. However, that is not necessarily the best way for a person with CFS to get additional energy. But, the thing that made me question the research was that they never mentioned caffeine at all, they just made it seem that “something” in the chocolate is helping with fatigue. Pretty vague if you ask me, but it sure is selling a lot of dark chocolate.
The “report” finds that strong consumer interest in the reported health benefits of dark chocolate and a general trend towards product premiumization (including organic and fair trade products) are the main drivers in current market growth.
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…seriously…how many more times are we going to have to read about these (alleged) health benefits of chocolate? Is anyone actually buying this argument or is it simply a lobby to help people mitigate self-imposed guilt? Are you purposefully putting chocolate in your diet to take advantage of these healthy claims? I’d love to hear if you are. — read full article
So, why then is this dark chocolate “research” getting so much press? Could it be that the chocolate industry itself is behind all of the recent “chocolate propaganda”? Well, I didn’t want to think that could be true, I already know we can’t trust most of Corporate America…But the sweet little chocolate factories, they would never deceive us…right? WRONG?
The Hershey Co. is expanding its Goodness Chocolate portfolio with the debut of Hershey’s Antioxidant Milk Chocolate and Hershey’s Whole Bean Chocolate. These chocolates join Hershey’s Extra Dark Chocolate and Hershey’s Sticks brands in offering consumers Hershey’s brand of chocolate with good-for-you benefits.
“Consumers are very interested in the goodness benefits of chocolate, including the antioxidants found naturally in dark chocolate,” said Michele Buck, senior vice president, chief marketing officer, The Hershey Company. “This interest is driving explosive growth in dark chocolate. Now, Hershey’s Antioxidant Milk Chocolate and Hershey’s Whole Bean Chocolate bring the goodness benefits of dark chocolate to the broader milk chocolate category.” — read full article
Can anyone say, “give me a break”?
All the chocolate companies are jumping on this band-wagon. Have you noticed that just about every chocolate candy now also has a dark chocolate version (ie: kit-kat, m&m, kisses)? Does anyone really think that eating more dark chocolate is going to lower the rate of heart disease in this country? I think it could actually have the opposite affect.
U.S. Chocolate Sales Forecast to Reach $18 Billion by 2011!
Well played chocolate industry. No need to even waste money on advertising, just let the media report on bogus research that deceives the public into thinking chocolate is good for their health. You can bet some PR guy is getting a huge bonus and a raise.
Central to the company’s outlook for 2007 is building on its presence in the dark chocolate sector – one of the fastest growing businesses in the Hershey portfolio last year.
In September, Hershey introduced a new range of single origin dark chocolate products and went on to further capitalize on consumer trends by entering the organic market with the acquisition of the Dagoba chocolate company in October. — read full article
So in conclusion…I love dark chocolate and nothing will ever change that. But I am appalled by the deception that the chocolate industry is using to increase their sales and profits. If “flavanols” help lower blood pressure, then eat foods that contain them, but that don’t also have caffeine. Caffeine increases a person’s blood pressure, so it doesn’t make any sense to use chocolate as a means to lower it. As you can see by Hersey’s own studies, every other food with this beneficial ingredient has no caffeine and is 100% natural.
ORAC per serving of foods which contain antioxidants.
So yes, get you antioxidants…Go buy yourself some blueberries, or raspberries, or pecans, or cranberries, or walnuts, or almonds, or red grapes, or prunes (well, maybe not prunes). Save the chocolates for a treat not a treatment.