Dark chocolate is often praised as a panacea for health, with potential benefits ranging from regulating blood pressure and insulin levels to boosting mood and offering a high dose of antioxidants (to name a few).
But a recent Consumer Reports study reveals that there may be high levels of heavy metals lurking in some popular brands of the “healthier for you” candy.
Previous research has shown that dark chocolate often contains lead and cadmium – two metals that can pose significant health risks when consumed in large quantities. So Consumer Reports scientists decided to test some popular brands to see what they could find.
They tested 28 chocolate bars and found lead and cadmium in all of them. But some had more concerning levels than others.
The 5 bars highest in lead and cadmium were from the brands Theo, Trader Joe’s, Lily’s and Green & Black’s.
The bars with the lowest metal levels were from Mast, Taza Chocolate, Valrhona, and Ghirardelli.
Metals can naturally be found in many foods, including carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach. You don’t need to swear off dark chocolate forever. There are ways to consume it more mindfully.
View chocolate as a treat, only eating it on occasion. A few ounces a week is not likely to do any harm, and you can still reap the health benefits that come from cacao.
Consider alternating with milk chocolate, the cacao levels are significantly lower.
Children and pregnant women should limit their consumption as the risks to these groups of heavy metals are the greatest.
And you can choose brands that have the lowest possible levels. You can view the whole story from Consumer Reports here.