Why You MUST Stay Away From Processed Chocolate

I hope you've loaded up with natural whole food treats for all the treat-or-treaters who will knock on your door later today, and left those Hefty bags of candy bars, full of processed chocolate, at the grocery store.

But, if you're skeptical at all of my warnings about chocolate, here's one more reason to be careful: To protect your family from health-harming lead exposure, according to a new study.

After comparing cocoa beans, their shells and soils from six Nigerian farms with processed cocoa and chocolate products, researchers discovered the average concentration of lead in raw beans was among the lowest reported values for a natural health food (0.5 nanograms).

Conversely, processed chocolate products contain 60 times the amount of lead found in raw beans. Although exactly when in the process cocoa becomes contaminated with lead -- after harvesting and drying, shipping or processing -- is uncertain, researchers believe the use of leaded gasoline in Nigeria may be a major contributor to the problem.

All the more reason, if you're going to eat chocolate at all, restrict your intake to the dark, organic kind.

Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 13, No. 10 Free Full Text Article

Chicago Tribune October 30, 2005 Registration Required

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