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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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July 11 2008

Is All Chocolate Created Equal?

By Mark Sisson
93 Comments

ChocolateMy wife and I tend to receive a lot of chocolate, usually as holiday or dinner party gifts. Friends and business associates know we’re not dessert people but that we indulge in chocolate and red wine on occasion (i.e. those Sensible Vices). As a result, I’ve gotten to try a lot of the best chocolates out there (as well as a few duds). My wife and I each have our running lists of favorites. Hers has a couple Belgian varieties as well as some quality stateside organics. As for me, the more bitter the better. Green and Black’s makes an 85% that I consider kind of my “staple” choice, but there are a lot of good ones out there.

As many of you know from my site or news stories, cocoa is credited with an impressive array of health benefits: reducing the instance of blood clots, lowering blood pressure, and helping prevent cancer. It’s all in the anti-oxidants, specifically compounds known as phenolic phytochemicals or flavonoids. Some studies have shown that cocoa contains considerably more flavonoids than either green tea or red wine (but I’d add that red wine has resveratrol going for it as well).

Dark Chocolate

Yet, I’d caution that not all chocolate is created equal. A Hershey milk chocolate bar may feed your sweet tooth, but that’s about it. (Probably not much surprise there.) First off, it’s ultimately the cocoa content that matters. The rest of what you find in chocolate (e.g. sugars, milk solids, etc.) is filler for our purposes and (in the case of sugars) only undoes the good. The higher the cocoa content, the better. This means dark chocolate will be better than milk chocolate, but what you’re really looking for is at least a “bittersweet” variety (50%+ cocoa content). I’d recommend shooting for 70% cocoa or more. Be sure to check the label. The best option (though not the tastiest) is unsweetened chocolate (100% cocoa), which is called chocolate liquor and actually made from roasted cocoa nibs.

Processing procedures, it seems, can impact the anti-oxidant activity of cocoa/chocolate. Processing that includes very high heat or alkalization seems to negatively alter the phenolic profile the most. Go for higher quality chocolates, and avoid Dutch-processed cocoa for these reasons.

Also, you might be tired of hearing this, but the fact is organic is better on this front as well. There was some hullabaloo just a few years back about high lead content in chocolate. The matter was never entirely settled or the source(s) identified in most cases. (I don’t believe in flying off the handle about this kind of thing, but it does offer another reason for wise moderation.) The organic label promises more oversight along the growing, harvesting and processing routes. Though it’s not a hard guarantee, I’d recommend the bit of extra assurance. If nothing else, you know you’re eating a chocolate bar made from cocoa beans that weren’t sprayed to oblivion with who knows what.

Cocoa

For those of you who despair at giving up milk chocolate, I’d suggest another alternative – a cup of cocoa. I’m obviously not talking the Swiss Miss, Nestle rabbit, or Ovaltine mixes of our childhoods. (Hey, at least we survived.) I mean the old fashioned milk and cocoa powder (or melted baking squares). As you know, the Primal Blueprint generally sidelines milk, but I consider it (especially organic and whole) a perfectly reasonable option for the purpose of chocolate indulgence. (It’s hardly the worst thing you could warm up with on a cold winter’s night.) A study out of Cornell University suggests that natural cocoa even provides the most anti-oxidant power per serving when compared with other forms of chocolate. An added plus:it’s one way to get the benefit of cocoa without the added sugar that dark chocolate bars have to some degree. Can’t imagine doing cocoa without sugar? If you’re including very little sweet food in your diet, you’ll be surprised how your tastebuds adapt. On the rare holiday occasions I indulge, the organic whole milk I use tastes sweet enough.

The bottom line for making the most of your chocolate indulgences: go organic, look for 70% or more of cocoa content, and find a brand or brands that complement your favorite red wine, fruit or coffee. I’m all about healthy, but an indulgence should feel – and taste – like a real extravagance.

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your suggestions and feedback.

f10n4, jypsygen, Jen Chan Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

The Original Sensible Vices

Sensible Vices: Round 2

The Art of Compromise

How to Eat More Chocolate and Drink More Wine Every Day

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93 thoughts on “Is All Chocolate Created Equal?”

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  1. I enjoy a couple of squares on Lindt’s 85% dark chocolate most nights of the week. It actually has low sugar content. Does sugar content decrease as cocoa content increases for all dark chocolates?

    1. Yes it does! If, for instance, the chocolate is 85% cocoa, that means at most 15% of it can be added sugar. Most brands of dark chocolate are essentially cocoa + sugar, possibly with a tiny shot of vanilla or similar, so a 50% bar is roughly equal cocoa:sugar.

    2. I know this is an old message, but I would avoid Lindt’s dark chocolate, since it contains cocoa powder pressed with alkali.

  2. Good stuff! I love dark chocolate, and so any additional evidence for me to support my cause is good (in moderation of course)!

  3. Oh, yes, those Green and Black’s 70% is usually my fave, only because it’s hard to find the 85%. I have a square or 3 a day, and do share with my boys. I want them to learn to like GOOD chocolate, and not that Hershey’s crap. 😉

  4. Hershey’s is only 10% cocoa butter.
    I agree, green and blacks is good stuff.

  5. I fix up this little treat for myself almost daily. I take a couple tablespoons of organic cocoa powder mix it with 1-1/2 tsp of agave nectar and add a tablespoon or more of coconut oil. The coconut oil gives you some nice fat to balance out the sugar plus it’s aparently good for the thyroid.

  6. I enjoy the Lindt 85% Cocoa bar as well, but I usually dip it in Almond butter for extra yumminess.

  7. Thanks for the info, I had been wondering about how much sugar is acceptable in chocolate before it starts being considered junk. I tend to go for the 70-85% stuff already, but my husband thinks it’s too dark. He’s into chocolate chips, which I imagine are around 50%?

    Does anyone have any specific brand recommendations or links to websites where we can buy really good quality chocolate? Just yesterday I was thinking of writing in here to ask that same question, but now I’ll just ask here. I’m hoping to find a good source, the best I can find around here is Scharffenberger…

    1. Boing Boing featured TCHO, for some very interesting information on the fermentation process, among other mind blowing things, Terra Nostra Raisin Pecan dark, also excellent. And don’t forget the Endangered Species line-up…

    2. It is not the percentage of cocoa but the way it is processed. The only cocoa that I know of that is cold processed so it retains the nutrients and anti-oxidants is XOCAI. Heat processing, Dutching, alkalizing distroy up to 80% the nutrients and anti-oxidants. 3 Xocai Power Square has a ORAC (anti-oxidants) score of 10,746, 1,008 Flavonids, 9g carbs, 7g sugars, 2 g fiber, and 2 g protein. http://www.richesinchocolate.com.

    3. Check out Theo Chocolate — organic, fair-trade, bean-to-bar chocolate company out of Seattle. These people do it right. Even better? No soy lecithin!

  8. Useful advice for those who eat chocolate. I’m new to your blog. Have you written about raw organic cacao beans? I’m hearing good things about them–that they deliver the nutritional benefits without the sweeteners that some of us need to avoid.

  9. I’ve actually come to be in love with baking chocolate. 100% Cacao. That’s some powerful stuff! and who needs sugar anyway?

  10. I love the Green & Black’s chocolates.
    70% is about the max I can tolerate and still enjoy. Anything higher and I find it too bitter, hopefully over time I’ll acquire a taste for it.

  11. I’m all for the Lindt 85% as well. It takes me an hour or so to eat a whole square of it so that keeps my fingers busy when they would normally be itching to snack on something else.

  12. I love Cacao Nibs (I get bags of Navitas Naturals). The nibs are a bit bitter on their own but a teaspoon or two on a bowl of fresh strawberries or on cut-up grapefruit is outstanding – crunch with a hint of chocolate and a pleasant crunch. I think the fruit sweetness brings out a the flavor of the nibs.

  13. I actually find 100% dark chocolate really tasty. I’ve been getting a kind from Trader Joe’s I like. I got used to the taste of chocolate without the sugar, and now I appreciate it more fully.

    Food Is Love

  14. My favs and not necc in this order
    1. 85% Lindt
    2. Sharffen Berger 99.9%
    3, cacoa nibs
    4. raw cacoa in hot water with a pinch of stevia

    try the nips in the new coconut milk ice cream by Purely Decadent (www.turtlemountain.com)

    WOW

  15. So I was going to the market today anyway, and after reading this I just had to try this Green & Blacks chocolate. Well I just did…and I had to come back just to say THANK YOU MARK! I’m in heaven! I’d been told it was nasty by someone else, so I never bothered to try it, but it is really some of the best chocolate I’ve ever had. I should’ve known better than to listen to a sugar-addict;) To anyone who hasn’t tried it yet…DO SO!

  16. Heather, Dagoba chocolate (http://www.dagobachocolate.com/departments.asp?dept=15) is organic and has a website where you can order single bars of different cocoa percentages to try. Shipping’s expensive, though, especially in the summer months.

    You can also order Green & Blacks as well as other organic chocolate brands on Amazon.com, but the quantities are really large.

  17. Thanks, Lex. I’ve tried a few flavors of the Dagoba and they’re great, but I haven’t seen them in my grocery store lately. I like to call them Dagobars! =)

  18. This considered suggestion that an occasional glass of red and a piece of organic, low sugar, 70% cocoa dark chocolate is GOOD for us is refreshing to hear.
    A treat like this has to be a workable alternative to heavily sweetened milk choccies for the antioxidants alone!

  19. Hi there,

    I’m glad people are still discovering the benefits of good quality dark chocolate. We don’t have that many to choose from over here in Australia which is a shame.

    It seems you might not either being that most of you are commenting on only G&B’s and Lindt. I have written about loads of other brands on my blog which you may find useful in your pursuit for your favourite choc. Unfortunately I can’t help you out with the supply side of things.

    One of my all time favs is a bar called Mora Mora by a company named Malagasy. you should try it if you get the chance.

    Dan.

  20. I love mixing Scharffenberger chocolate nibs, which are straight up cacao bean pieces, with almonds. Although the beans are unsweetened, they’re hits of pure chocolate flavor, and combined with the nuts they’re amazing!

  21. Xocai is fantastic, low in sugar content and fat but still tastes awesome!! The business opportunity looks interesting.

  22. It seems you might not either being that most of you are commenting on only G&B’s and Lindt. I have written about loads of other brands on my blog which you may find useful in your pursuit for your favourite choc. Unfortunately I can’t help you out with the supply side of things.

  23. Terrible info. in this article.

    Refined sugars and cow’s milk cancels all benefits of the cocoa bean.

    Eat 100% raw cocoa.. use rice/almond milk to make the hot chocolate.

    Cow’s milk, organic or not, can NEVER be part of an even semi-healthy diet…

  24. Laura, I’m not sure that refined sugars and dairy cancel out ALL of the benefits of cacao, but I only eat the pure product. I recently discovered Fortina, the ingredients of which are simply organic Cacao Powder, Cacao Butter, Agave Nectar. No guilt and true SuperFood. I would love to see someone replace the Agave Nectar with Yacon Syrup, which is a truly-beneficial digestive prebiotic.

  25. so i guess nestle 100% cocoa powder isn’t a good choice? where do you buy organic cocoa powder at ?

    1. I drink 2 Tbsps. of Trader Joe’s unsweetened cocoa powder with some stevia herbal sweetener in 16 oz. of hot water. Only 40 calories & 2 net carbs. Yum!!

  26. If chocolate is healthy then why does it have to be sweetened in order for humans to like it? That stuff taste TERRIBLE without sweeteners! It also is made from the seeds of a fruit. Fruit seeds are not designed for human consumption. Those seeds are then roasted until charred; ground up until they turn to mud from the friction-heat; mixed with sugar or other sweeteners; diluted with additional cocoa butter to lessen the awful taste; and tainted with soy lecithen to keep it all together and solid at room temperature.

    I find it hard to resist, too, though, because, as with all processed foods, it tastes unnaturally good!

    1. Watch the Boing Boing (.com) TCHO video.
      It’s all about proper fermentation, not leaching alkaloids on concrete slabs by farmers who’ve never tasted their own chocolate…

      1. Great video. Thank you. I had no idea that cocao growers were fermenting their cacao seeds on concrete! Sheesh. That is something I will want to know in the future before I purchase chocolate.

  27. My wife and I enjoy dark chocolate but we have an awful job finding dark chocolate that doesn’t contain a lot of sugar. A lot of brands claiming to be dark chocolate have 50mg of sugar for 100mg serving!

    What sugar levels should we aim for? I’ve found a brand which has about 15mg sugar for every 100mg. Is that good enough?

  28. I like Dagoba or Rapunzel bars. Green and Black is good, too. I think Rapunzel bars use whole cane sugar (think Rapadura or Sucanat) which is about as primal as sugar gets (it’s just cooked down sugar cane juice…not separated, bleached, or refined, just dehydrated). To make a dairy-free hot cocoa that tastes incredibly rich and indulgent, you just break up a few bars of 70%+ cocoa content chocolate bars and gently melt it into a can of coconut milk. You can dilute the coconut milk with a little water (or even a little coconut juice…which is NOT coconut milk, just the water inside a young coconut). YUM! Also, coconut milk, plus egg yolks, plus coconut/palm sugar (just a touch) or raw honey or maple syrup plus a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg makes a GREAT dairy-free eggnog!

  29. For diabetics, how about ‘Hersheys Sugar Free’ chocolate baking chips (same size chips as those used in choco chip cookies and found in the baker’s section where available)?

    FYI, a tablespoon contains:
    – 7g Maltitol
    – 4.5g total fat
    – 9g total carbs

    No indication of chocolate or cocoa content. Should I scratch these off the ‘snack’ list?

    1. A while back I switched away from anything sugar free, since they use a bunch of chemicals to give it a taste and there is so much controversy over it. I think there is a post on this that was done recently actually. Not worth it, the human body was never meant to metabolize this laboratory created stuff, doesn’t know what to do with it. The dark chocolate, even a decent sized chunk of the good stuff, may have as few as five grams of sugar.

  30. Hey Guys,

    I noticed that Lindt 85% cocoa was mentioned a few times. I used to eat it but I found out that they use genetically engineered derived ingredients. I’m not sure which ingredients, but I found out via the true food network. Possibly the vegetable oil listed in the ingredients was GE, or possibly the traces of soy it warns against on the package were GE but this year they are listed as GE free. However I don’t trust them, what do you guys think?

  31. I think it’s hard to trust any major manufacturer that dominates a market like Lindt does. That said, to find a comparably dark, tasty chocolate that is anywhere near as affordable is no easy task. While I do my best to avoid supporting such companies, preferring to help the little guys whenever possible, I’m not all that wealthy and have to cut carefully chosen corners in places. Point being, hell no I don’t trust Lindt! Especially not when it comes to the question of their ethical codes. But I do trust that they no longer use genetically engineered ingredients, most likely due to True Food Networks’ report (and not because the CEO decided it was the ethically, morally RIGHT THING TO DO, which doesn’t seem to weight too heavily on most CEO’s minds). Also, for those Lindt 85% fans out there, I just discovered that they’re now making a 90%, which is superdy duperdy scrumdiddilyumptious and only has three grams of suger per four squares of chocolate, compared to the 85%’s five. Not much of a difference, but it’s something!

  32. As a follow up to my previous post, I’ve been ignoring a not so mild reaction to my processed chocolate consumption (denial, I suppose, since I LOVE chocolate) in which I experience a short but noticeable increase in phlegm production and low-level body aches. After some research, I’m convinced this is due to the rancid omega-6’s found in all processed chocolate. Having recently overcome this denial, I ordered up five pounds of organic raw Ecuadorian cacao beans… which I recently learned are not merely good for you, but one of the best things in the world for you. A movie called Food Matters (which we are all fortunately aware of already) is a great view and incredibly informative… I highly recommend anyone who has not yet seen it to do so. Also, I woke up this morning, roasted some organic almonds and blended them into almond butter, adding a tablespoon or so of virgin coconut oil. Holy delicious! I can’t wait to pair these two.

  33. Please forgive the temporary netspeak, but like OMG wow i found 99% cocoa barz!!!!!

    Made by Lindt (who used to supply me with my 85%) I’ve just discovered they make 99%!

    It’s definitely an acquired taste and switching to it I can now undertand who my bf is having trouble switching from milk chocolate to dark. It’s drier, gritier, and much stronger. Still very yummy though. 🙂

  34. Sorry, forgot the nutrition info:

    For each 50g bar(21 squares)

    Grams Calories %-Cals
    Calories 270

    Fat 25.0 225 84%

    Saturated 14.9 134 50%

    Carbohydrate 4.0 16 6%

    Dietary Fiber 2.9

    Protein 7.0 28 10%

    1. darn formatting broke 🙁 is there a better way to format on these?

  35. By the way, for some reason CVS Pharmacy carries Green & Black, at least in the Los Angeles area. Go figure! Nom nom nom…

  36. I never knew there was lead content in most chocolate bars 🙁
    Must we really resort to buying everything organic?

  37. I make my own chocolate bars using creamed coconut (comes in solid bars as it is mostly oil), coconut milk, unsweetened chocolate, and some splenda or stevia (just melt it all gently together and chill). I made some yesterday starting with a lot of unsweetened coconut, which I toasted in the pan first. Also good with almonds. It’s very delicious, very good for you, and very filling.

    1. Oh Yum. Romina do you think you could give specific amounts for your chocolate bars ? They sound a-mazing? Thanks much.

  38. oooops – I meant, Sue – not Romina. My apologies!! Sue, if you have specific amounts for your yummy homemade chocolate bars, please post. Thank you.

  39. I also enjoy the Lindt 99% chocolate. It seems to have no sugar and the ingredients are pretty natural.

    Since there is no sugar is it safe to eat a single square every day?

    One square is like 1/2 in square

  40. @Laura…sorry, but raw, whole milk from a grassfed cow IS perfectly healthy. Just ask the Masaai who eat a traditional diet. Heck, my grassfed whole milk practically tastes like wheatgrass on the finish: very strongly vegetal. Milk is just a modified form of blood, after all, and thus OK in moderation on a Primal diet, provided one drinks it RAW and 100% GRASSFED. Just one gal’s opinion.
    As for sugar-free choc options: maltitol is a bad idea. I agree with the person who makes his own bars. Failing that, there is a choc version which is sweetened with FOS and erythritol (a sugar alcohol like maltitol, but fermented, so does not cause GI distress in most people). It’s called ChocoPerfection. Never tried it, but for someone wanting the occasional, dark choc treat sans sugar, chemical sweeteners, etc, this might also be a good option. Warning: they’re pretty expensive ($4/bar), which definitely leads credence to the idea of DIY, a la Romina.

  41. Vivani Organic Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa – the whole bar is about 15g of digestible carbs and almost as much fiber. The label, I believe, reckons Total Carbs in the European manner, and thus doesn’t include the fiber in the total count. The taste is excellent. I love Dagoba, Lindt, and G&B, but this is my favorite, hands down. Even this is a bit sweet for me, so I tend to eat it (half a bar, say) with a few spoonfuls of shredded coconut. Yummy.

  42. My new favorite treat is 2-3 squares of Lindt 85%/90% with a cup of peppermint tea or black tea that has dried orange peels. It’s a warm, soothing substitution for a sugary peppermint patty or chocolate orange.

  43. Lindt 85% – 99% are my favorites. The 99% is like condensed cocoa. it contains very little brown sugar and all Lindt products are lecithin and soy free which is an added bonus. And no… I don’t work for them (I wish!) I am simply a true chocoholic 🙂

  44. I love dark chocolate, but I’ve found that Swiss chocolate seems to have more sugar, even the dark (making it highly addictive). So I think it is wise to check the sugar content, even if the cocoa content is high.

  45. Just read this post. I am a fan of Green & Black, even their milk, but I’d like to point out they kind of go against the rules of what constitutes dark chocolate- they add milk powder to their 85% bar.

    I still have to wean of sugar in the rest of my diet but for the fans of the really dark stuff, the Valrhona, Pralus and Michel Cluizel bars are great, not sweet like some Lindt dark.

  46. I just can’t resist the charm of regular chocolates but I agree dark chocolate with 70% cocoa is a must for it’s good for the heart and uplift our mood.

    Check out pureandhealthy blog for more information about antioxidant.

  47. Lindt and even Green & blacks is crappy quality chocolate. Go get some Francois Pralus 100% chocolate. Order online or get some from Trader Joes i believe. In the uk it’s hard to get it in stores.

    Only problem with it is that it’s almost impossible to stop eating it once started

  48. Cocoa made with double cream is yummy in a major way 🙂

    Add a little maple syrup or agave nectar to take the edge of the bitterness…

  49. I wish chocolate weren’t so delicious! I’ll try to look for chocolate that is natural and healthier to eat!

  50. It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I have learn this post and if I may I wish to counsel you few fascinating issues or tips. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles regarding this article. I desire to read more issues about it!

  51. For those who swear by Lindt 85%, I encourage you to take a shot at the 90% (if it’s readily available). I bought it for the first time the other day, and comparing it side-by-side with the 85%, I found that 90% actually tasted WAY better: more cacao flavor, and was also smoother and creamier in texture that the incremental increase in bitterness didn’t bother me at all.

  52. After you have this you’ll never not another brand:
    The grenada chocolate factory, totally organic ( including solar power). My only connection is my love of it, and that i used to live there. http://www.grenadachocolate.com/

  53. I use almond milk for my hot coco. Works great for those chocolate cravings!

  54. One square of Lindt 70% dark chocolate dipped in some almond butter with a little cinnamon on top will change your world!

  55. By now, you can find plenty of 100% chocolate bars, at least in Europe, and in most cases from single “grand crus” of cocoa. In fact, as it is the case with coffee, one does not really begin to identify the distinctive flavours of existing variants until and unless one stops adding sugar (or hypocaloric sweeteners, for that matter).

    Even from a purely gastronomic POV, there are therefore very good reasons not to settle for 75+% chocolates.

    Heck, I have not much of a sweet tooth, but if one gets used not to have added sugar, some cocoas and arabicas are already too sweet for my personal taste in their pure form.

  56. Lindt 100% is not *that* good. But it does not depend on the lack of sugar, I simply do not like much the cocoa blend they adopted for it.

  57. Hey Mark what a great website! I just wanted to say that you can make wonderful desserts with raw cacao powder,stevia/honey and raw coconut oil,this can be used as the base for raw chocolate truffles…for a really smooth texture you can blend in avocado and raspberries.It tastes so good and is good for you too…yippeeee. 🙂

  58. I enjoy grinding raw cacao beans and using them to make my own chocolate. I Frequently play with the recipe- add and subtract, but the base recipe is the same:
    1/4C Coconut Oil
    1or2T Coconut Butter
    1T Ghee
    (maybe a T of cream)?
    Melt these in the oven while mixing:
    2T (heaping) of the ground raw cacao
    2T herbal Stevia
    (Add chopped raw nuts… dried coconut… hemp seeds… whatever you like)
    When your fats are melted, mix them into the cacao mixture
    Pour the cacao mixture into muffin pan (you can fill the bottoms of about 8 muffin cups).
    Place your muffin pan into the freezer for 30min. or more.
    Remove pan from freezer, insert, and beat the hell

    1. Thank you so much for this recipe, Erica! I will definitely try it because my two favorite brands (Engangered Species and Sweetriot) only go up to 88% and 85%, respectively.

      The flavor and attention to product quality/ethical issues from both these companies is superb, but I would like to have the sugars in the 1-5% range.

      Sweetriot does sell cacao nibs coated in 85% dark for those who don’t like the flavor of nude nibs and has a brilliant monthly auto-order option for people who give bars away, eat a lot of chocolate etc.

  59. …out of the bottom of the pan.
    your cacao “cups” will pop out looking about like a Reese’s, but WAY better!

    (I’ve also played with placing a small piece of fruit in each muffin cup before pouring on the cacao mixture. Cacao covered strawberries, anyone?)

  60. “Invert” is what I meant to instruct you to do with your muffin pan before you beat the hell out of it.
    I can’t imagine where you would “insert” it after removing it from the freezer…

  61. I’m wondering about the serving size for the higher % cocoa. Using as a health supplement I would think the amount need for health benefit’s would decrease as cocoa percentages increase. Would this be a math equation?

  62. I found in my local supermarket (I live in Denmark near Copenhagen mind you) an “no sugar added, no dairy” dark chocolate (70%) produced by Plamil. It is entirely sweetened with xylitol so it is even good for your teeth and blood sugar (if you don’t eat the whole thing all at once -> trip to the toilet room guarantied!).

    That’s my chocolate of choice right now.

  63. Check out Theo Chocolate — organic, fair-trade, bean-to-bar chocolate company out of Seattle. These people do it right. Even better? No soy lecithin!

  64. I love Camino chocolate, they are a Canadian company, fair trade, kosher and organic AND their chocolate is delicious! I also love how simple their ingredients are, the Panama Extra Dark has just 4 ingredients – just 2 squares of that thing will hit the spot.

    http://www.lasiembra.com/camino/en/camino

  65. What is “moderation” when it comes to chocolate? I”m struggling. Once I start, I can’t stop.

  66. Wanted to read this b/c I wanted to see if people, health conscious ones, really eat chocolate. 70% had me running around in circles, high as a kite, bp up, crazy…then withdrawal is headache, severe nausea, vivid nightmares, emotional roller coaster of wanting to cry and laugh……awful stuff. My doctor says it is my low weight, I’m 5′ 7″ and 105lbs, and that the caffeine is just too much for me. Not to mention all chocolate has some level of rat/animal feces…..but the main thing it’s a CNS stimulator. I was shocked to see so many here eat it. I have absolutely no desire for sweets, not even fruit, besides the occasional berries, so perhaps I can’t appreciate chocolates’ power. Maybe the power is it’s addictive nature and the sugar. Anyway, I wouldn’t give it to someone I cared about….just shocked how many eat it, and how many people have sweet tooths. It really baffles me….

  67. Seem to be a lot of knowledgeable people here…..if somebody could please answer my long standing question of why some people are crazy for sweets and others could care less, I’d love to know. My bio teacher just said that all humans have taste buds that respond to 5 different tastes, and that sweet is one of them, and said not much else.

    1. LS, I don’t know any more about biology than many of the other people here, and probably much less than some of them. I think it can be an acquired taste. When I was a kid, I had absolutely no desire for sweets of even a “healthy” sort — bananas, flavored yogurt, most fruit juice, and even Chef Boyardee were too much for me. Forget about candy, chocolate, soda, and sugary cereal, I never wanted any. And…my family and everybody else told me repeatedly how WEIRD I was (except my mom, who was glad and let me eat that way if I wanted). Relatives, especially grandparents, pushed the sugar on me because “that’s what kids like.” I didn’t pay any attention to that logic because I was a stubborn and contrary child, but how might another kid respond to statements like that from people they love, not to mention TV commercials and other advertising? When I got to college, I did give in to eating a more junk-food diet. It didn’t taste good to me, but since I wanted to get along and make new friends, I went for ice cream and soda with the others, and eventually I got used to it. Years later, when I went Primal, I then had to get a handle on an awful sweet tooth that had never existed when I was younger and didn’t eat sweets.

      1. Thanks for replying, I think you’re right, I mean we all have the same taste buds, so it does seem logical that it might be dietary habits….don’t know if they’ve ever done brain scans on the sugar addicted…..but, if you wouldn’t mind telling me how you managed to beat your sweet tooth…..I know someone who is struggling so badly, that when we threw a dinner party, and didn’t serve desert, she asked for it. When I told her that we didn’t eat sweets, or even keep them, she then asked for CRACKERS of all things……high glycemic carb that acts just like sugar, causes the same if not similar response in the body as refined sugar. By a fluke we had them, we normally don’t even keep them. Then an hour later, I gave her all my bittersweet chips I had, the ones that made me squirrel out and become hyper, and she totally gobbled them, even though they were loaded w/ caffeine. Every time I see her, I see her eating sugar, or refined carbs, I think she’s addicted. Anyway…thanks for replying, I love this site! Eliminating refined carbohydrates and adding more fat and protein and vegetables, have literally changed my life in terms of how much more productive I am and how much more I am able to accomplish for me and those I care for.

  68. One that I really like is produced by a company names “Endangered Species Chocolate”. 10% of their net profits are donated to help support species, habitat and Humanity. My current fav is 88% cocoa. They also have a mint chocolate & one with cacao nibs. The bars are kosher, certified gluten free & vegan, plus the wrapper can be recycled. Ingredient: dark chocolate (chocolate liquor, unbleached water-filtered beet sugar, soy lecithin, vanilla). Contains: soy & nuts. The company is based in Indianapolis, IN. Web site is chocolatebar.com. It’s available here in parts of Alberta. Don’t know about the rest of Canada. Really satisfies my chocolate addiction! Usually, one section will take care of addiction for several days. It’s worth hunting down. Can’t find it? Check to web site.

  69. Anyone know if Ghiradelli’s is dutch processed? Their 100% cacao tastes better to me than dark chocolate from other brands. Or milk chocolate. Or, you know, anything.

  70. What about Aflatoxins and other molds/toxins ? I’d never heard of these connected to chocolate, but upon researching raw cacao (is it a good idea? – maybe not) I stumbled into some mention of toxins…No links but the info’s out there. I saw a study done in Brazil sampling commercial chocolate for molds, but lost the link.

    I live near a Cacao (and coffee) growing area and buy raw beans from locals and toast them myself, eating them straight (wow!) or mashing a few up with the tiniest amount of honey or panela/piloncillo (from cane ). But now I’m wondering about the molds…same with coffee, apparently.

    What’s that brand coffee I saw in somebody’s kitchen? “Bulletproof”? I think that they address the mold/toxins thing with chocolate. …yep
    http://www.upgradedself.com/products/bulletproof-upgraded-chocolate-powder#/SOURCING2

    By coincidence, n the home page for this company one of the latest articles/pod casts is about Mark Sissan
    http://www.bulletproofexec.com/101-mark-sisson-on-the-primal-blueprint-podcast/

    Anyway putting the question/info out there about aflatoxins in cacao.

  71. Has anyone tried Lulu’s “Midnight Express” 88%. Pretty good. I’ve been looking for Gnosis 90% but haven’t been able to find. Has anyone tried it? I’ve heard it’s good. These are both raw and only sweetened with coconut sugar. What is the opinion on coconut sugar? Of all the sugars, I’ve heard it’s the best with a low GI.

  72. Great article! I’m glad you’re sharing such interesting content about chocolate with your audience. Something I like to encourage people to do is to eat cocoa nibs. I much prefer them to canned cocoa powder, and they really add Oomph and a terrifically intense chocolate flavour to yogurt, sundaes, fruit salad, and even in smoothies. You can buy cocoa nibs at many fine chocolate shops and health food stores, and also online from cocoa companies.

  73. Why use milk for hot chocolate when you can use almond or coconut milk? So much less sugar, and also tastier IMO. 🙂

  74. Hi there –

    I recently traveled to St. Lucia where I partook in a chocolate making class through a cocoa plantation on the island.

    http://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/boucan

    They also have this wonderful hotel and dining room where all the items on the menu are prepared with some kind of cocoa preparation. In any event, one thing that they do NOT use the making of their fine chocolates in SOY LECITHIN. If you read the labels on most chocolate bars – organic or otherwise – you’ll notice the addition of this slippery product. It acts as an emulsifier which in essence if chocolate bars are made correctly using the proper ratio of cocoa butter to cocoa is not needed. Be careful and read the labels. There are a few very good brands that offer this “cocoa only’ chocolate bars.

  75. Does anyone know how many little squares of G&B 85% one would eat to equal about 250mg flavanols? Has anyone who doesn’t want the calories of real chocolate ever hear of CocoaVie which is taken as a supplement? Thanks.

  76. Just finished my first Green and Blacks! OMG YUM!!!! Limited choices living in Okinawa Japan. Or I should say limited to what I can figure out lol