“Avoid Eating Chocolate Regularly Until You Know These Hidden Facts”

Candies with sugars, HFCS, and other frightening ingredients can wreak havoc on your health. Now there¹s a chocolate you can enjoy without these negatives

Few snack foods evoke as much passion and desire as chocolate.

If you're a chocolate lover, the idea of giving it up even for health reasons is often not an option you consider.

And if you have children... well, most kids love chocolate. Asking them not to eat any when they¹re with friends or at home is pretty much wishful thinking.

Believe it or not, this is one instance when you can have your chocolate and eat it too... more and more studies confirm some types of chocolate are actually very good for you.

Since I realize many people simply refuse to give up their chocolate, and there are actually healthy versions of chocolate, I put my team to task to create guidelines to help you select and eat chocolate at a healthy level.

Around the holidays or really at any time, this could help give you some direction for the healthiest chocolate for you and your kids.

I do feel it's important to remind you about wholesome foods like organic vegetables and fruits that provide you with healthy nutrients -- without the sugar content of most chocolates.

The potential for you and your family to consume even more chocolate during holidays is simply a reality that you will have to contend with. However, if you follow the guidelines my staff and I created for you, you can now enjoy one of your passions, and boost your health at the same time.

Guidelines for Selecting Healthy Chocolate

If you're a chocolate lover, or even occasionally indulge, I strongly recommend you follow these guidelines... which will allow you to enjoy your chocolate and help you protect your health at the same time.

* Find chocolate made from the least destructive processing techniques -- Organic is always best as over-processing reduces your healthy nutrients and can introduce lead contamination.
* Restrict your intake to dark, organic chocolate -- Consuming chocolate as close to its original raw state (unprocessed cacao) provides you the best health benefits.
* Avoid chocolate made from milk or milk byproducts -- Adding milk to the chocolate process can diminish your antioxidant benefits.
* Select chocolate with low sugar content -- Sugar can seriously impact your immune system
* Consume chocolate in moderation -- When you eat too much chocolate, you potentially diminish and defeat any health benefits due to the sugar.
* Avoid chocolate if you're struggling with a health challenge -- Sugar can suppress your immune system.
* Choose a chocolate made to the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility -- Fair Trade certification should be part of your selection process.

I'll get into more details on each of these selection and consumption criteria in just a minute...

But first do this -- very thoroughly...

READ the LABEL to Avoid the "Devil"
Lurking in Your Chocolate

In addition to the above guidelines, there are certain "spooky" ingredients you should stay far away from when choosing your chocolate.

If you have kids, you might want to take a closer look at the chocolate they consume on a regular basis. Not an easy task, I realize... but these ingredients are just plain bad for you.

Even many so-called "natural" chocolates may contain some of these unhealthy ingredients -- avoid them at all costs...

* Trans fat -- An artery-clogging type of fat that forms when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening.
* High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) -- Contains no enzymes, vitamins or minerals, and leeches micronutrients from your body. Raises your blood sugar levels beyond acceptability, and leads to insulin resistance and weight gain. It really is a metabolic poison and, in many ways, acts identical to alcohol with chronic exposure when eaten in high amounts.
* Artificial sweeteners -- Never allow anything "artificial" in your chocolate.
* Soy proteins -- Unfermented soy can cause digestive distress and a weakened immune system.
* Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) -- An excitotoxin, which over-excites your cells to the point of damage or total destruction. Can potentially cause
brain damage and other disabilities to varying degrees.
* Preservatives and stabilizers -- Avoid anything artificial and look for only organic ingredients.
* Milk or milk byproducts -- Could impact how well you absorb the healthy antioxidants in the chocolate.

The bottom line -- you need to carefully read the label on chocolate packages. By Oreading' the label, I mean, Othoroughly scrutinize the nutrition facts and ingredients'. Not just a cursory glance.

To enjoy the healthiest chocolate possible, always look for selections with wholesome, organic ingredients -- artificial ingredients are just too risky.

I realize finding the healthiest chocolate may not be an easy task. But with the research my team and I performed, I can help you narrow down your selection.

First off though, I believe it's important for you to understand the brief history of chocolate and how it ended up to be such a sugary concoction today.

How Cacao Went from Healthy Brew to Sugary Sweet Deception

To start with, you may not realize chocolate actually comes from a plant... the theobroma cacao tree to be more precise.

Cocoa beans, the fermented ground seeds from the fruit of the cacao tree, have been used as consumable ingredients for the last 3.4 millennia.

Discovered in 2,600-year-old Mayan ceramic containers in northern Belize, Cacao dates back thousands of years. This pushes the onset of mankind's love of chocolate back another 1,000 years from previous findings.

The main differences between cacao thousands of years ago and modern day chocolate involve its usage and processing.

The ancient Mayans used raw cacao to...

* Create a bitter-tasting frothy beverage
* Provide them significant caloric value
* Boost their energy and vigor

In other words, cacao was an important element in their everyday healthy diet.

Fast forward to today and modern-day chocolate processing... fermented cocoa beans from the cacao tree get processed into a sugary sweet, mass-marketed commodity.

Today's chocolate products are far removed from their historical usage and beneficial raw potency.

The point here is not to put down today's chocolate, but to make you aware that the source of chocolate, the cacao tree, does yield potential health benefits. It's the over-processing of cacao into modern-day chocolate that eliminates most of your benefits.

So, finding a chocolate closer to its original raw cacao state will be healthier for you.


Cacao is very bitter and almost unpalatable by itself. But I can assure you there is a healthy chocolate waiting for you that adheres to the above guidelines.

A Deep, Dark Health Secret Revealed

Emerging evidence during the past decade supports the health benefits of resveratrol... to the point of becoming one of my favorite antioxidants.

Resveratrol is a very potent antioxidant compound produced by certain fruits and vegetables including grapes, raspberries, mulberries, and peanuts.

Realizing that chocolate also comes from a plant (theobroma cacao tree) whose fruit produces cocoa beans, you may not be surprised at the scientific findings about it.

In fact, scientists report dark chocolate, baking chocolate, and cocoa powder all contain significant levels of resveratrol.

This potent antioxidant is somewhat different from the rest. It not only helps you neutralize free radicals, but can also cross your blood-brain barrier to help protect your brain and nervous system.

Studies show that resveratrol may increase the lifespan in human cells. So, it could be a determining factor in extending your longevity.

Plus, resveratrol benefits you by how it...

* Protects your cells from free radical damage
* Helps you keep your blood pressure within the normal range
* Promotes your healthy heart and cardiovascular system
* Helps improve your blood vessel elasticity
* Boosts your protection against the spread of abnormal cell activity
* Helps you better control the aging process
* Supports your body's natural defense system

In addition, it's important for you to understand there are 2 different forms of resveratrol -- "cis" and "trans." Both may be blended together in certain foods.

The difference between the two forms is the result of their molecular structure, and involves organic chemistry nomenclature.

However, the most researched form of resveratrol that provides you enhanced health benefits is trans-resveratrol. This is the form of resveratrol found in dark chocolate.

So, now you see why I strongly recommend dark, unprocessed chocolate as
part of your selection criteria.

Other types of chocolate, including milk chocolate, potentially process out most or all of your antioxidant benefits.

Powerful, Potent Polyphenols Pack a Punch

Fortunately, you can enjoy the same nutritional benefits of dark chocolate by consuming other raw vegetables and fruits such as muscadine grapes, apples, blueberries, spinach, kale, and broccoli, to name a few.

But if you're a chocolate lover, I realize this probably won't satisfy you.

My strongest word of advice is that you do not consider dark chocolate a substitute for healthy vegetables and fruits... only as a savory complement.

Now that we've established dark chocolate as your best chocolate selection, let's take a closer look at more potential benefits.

Many of the benefits found in cacao are a result of antioxidant activity associated with polyphenols, particularly the flavanols called catechin and epicatechin, which...

* Increase blood flow in your arteries
* Lower your levels of C-reactive protein for enhanced heart protection
* Help support normal cholesterol levels
* Promote your nervous system and cerebral health
* Support your glucose metabolism
* Help boost your immune system

But all these wonderful benefits from dark chocolate are only as good as the process used to create the end product.

In fact, some dark chocolate producers remove the beneficial flavanols during processing to eliminate the bitter taste. By doing so, they're essentially diminishing your potential health benefits.

Organic and Fair Trade Certification --
Critical Paths to Healthy Dark Chocolate

The process used to produce dark chocolate should be a key element in your selection criteria.

Organic Dark Chocolate Made in the USA

Joseph Whinney had a dream. He wanted to establish the first organic chocolate factory in the US. See, prior to 2006, Europe produced the majority of organic chocolate and exported it to the US.

Joe started fulfillment of his dream in 1994, when he pioneered the importation of organic cocoa beans into North America. But to get to this point, Joe labored hard for many years with cacao growers in the tropics of Central America and Africa.

During the time he spent with the cacao farmers he witnessed the degradation of the rainforest and economic adversity endured by the farmers, first-hand.

Joe quickly recognized these issues could only be addressed through economic solutions.

By combining his passion for cacao with a strong desire to help the farmers, Joe realized his dream in 2006, when he established the first and only organic Fair Trade chocolate factory in the USA.

Why is that so important?

First of all, to maximize your health advantages from dark chocolate, it's crucial you find organically certified chocolate... USDA certified.

It's not enough for the manufacturer to claim organic ingredients. The entire process used to produce the chocolate and the ingredients must be certified organic.

It's as simple as that... yet isn't all that easy to find.

In addition to organic certification, I strongly recommend a chocolate producer to be what's called Fair Trade Certified.

Fair Trade is a system of exchange that honors the chocolate producers, communities, consumers, and the environment... a manufacturer's commitment to social and environmental responsibility and sustainability.

Why does this matter?

Well, Fair Trade certification helps ensure that the manufacturer...

* Uses only pure ingredients in the chocolate
* Partners closely with cacao farmers and growers
* Respects employees and suppliers
* Uses green energy sources to power chocolate production
* Employs sustainable packaging and printing methods

The bottom line for you? A chocolate manufacturer who is Fair Trade Certified delivers a more consistent product at a fair price with a commitment to social responsibility.

Here's a graphic example (below) of how conventional and Fair Trade supply chains compare.

Graphic adapted from: "What is Fair Trade?" and retrieved from
greenamericatoday.org <http://www.greenamericatoday.org/programs/fairtrade/whattoknow/index.cfm>

Notice how the Fair Trade chain cuts out several excessive steps. The extra steps usually mean only one thing -- extra processing cost and less nutritional value by the time the product reaches YOU.

That's why I believe so strongly that it's critical for you to select an organically certified and Fair Trade Certified dark chocolate.

How Much Chocolate Can You Eat?

Now that we're zeroing in on the ultimate dark chocolate for you to enjoy and to help give your health a boost, let me remind you that I recommend you still eat chocolate in moderation.

So just how much is moderate consumption?

Well, if you really want to eat dark chocolate for health purposes, researchers in an Italian study...

* Focused on the complex mechanism of inflammation -- a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease
* Found that those who ate dark chocolate had a 17% reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP)
* Concluded that 6.7 grams of dark chocolate per day represented the ideal amount

These findings come from one of the largest epidemiological studies ever conducted in Europe.

So, once again, the health benefits of dark chocolate shine through. But the guidelines I've laid out should be carefully followed to fully garner those benefits.

Eating chocolate in moderation will help you stay healthy, while enjoying a savory chocolate treat at the same time. But remember, even organic dark chocolate has sugar in it; so too much isn't a healthy formula for your overall wellbeing.

It¹s especially important to be careful around holiday times to keep your chocolate consumption under control. Don¹t gorge yourself ...

Not All Dark Chocolates Are Created Equally

As my team and I searched for a dark chocolate to recommend to you, we were quite surprised by how many differences exist between products.

For instance... does your dark chocolate go through a rigorous process such as this to ensure unsurpassed quality using organic ingredients?...

* Harvesting -- Cocoa pods selected at their ripest levels before seeds removed, fermented, and dried to ensure perfect quality
* Roasting -- Cocoa beans meticulously roasted to bring out slight spice and berry flavors
* Cracking and milling -- Cocoa beans expertly cracked and milled to release creamy butter giving the chocolate a silky smooth texture that melts in your mouth
* Flavor balancing -- Very small amounts of organic and Fair Trade sugar precisely added before conching (smoothing process) to ensure perfectly balanced flavors
* Final blending -- Organic vanilla and other organic ingredients slowly blended into each specific bar for irresistible taste

... my Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate does!

And focusing in on sugar, take a look at the chart (below) comparing the sugar content of some popular dark chocolate brands. It's important to note that the amount of sugar is based on serving size.

With somewhat loose standards for serving sizes, it's easy to become confused on sugar content. Many manufacturers use ounces as opposed to grams, which can be further confusing.

So, in the chart below, I calculated the fractional amounts (in grams) of sugar per gram of chocolate bar based on the serving size for each offering... this tells you the true sugar story.

Dark Chocolate Bar Serving size (grams) Sugar/serving (grams) Sugar/gram of chocolate (grams)
Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate 1 bar (41 grams) 21 grams 0.512 sugar per gram
Dove Rich Dark Chocolate 5 pieces (40 grams) 19 grams 0.475 sugar per gram
Nestle Treasures -- Dark Chocolate Caramel 3 pieces (36 grams) 17 grams 0.472 sugar per gram
Dagoba Organic Chocolate, dark 1 ounce (28.3 grams) 12 grams 0.424 sugar per gram
Trader Joes 73% Organic Dark Chocolate 4 sections (33 grams) 9 grams 0.273 sugar per gram
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight 1 square (11 grams) 3 grams 0.273 sugar per gram
My Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate 1Z2 bar (42 grams) 8 grams 0.190 sugar per gram

Chart adapted from nutritional facts found at the following sites:
wellnessgrocer.com <http://www.wellnessgrocer.com/dagoba-chocolate-bar-dark-p-1945.html>,
thedailyplate.com <http://www.thedailyplate.com/nutrition-calories/food/nestle/treasures-dark-
hersheys.com <http://www.hersheys.com/products/details/hersheysbar.asp?id=000000003131-00
fatsecret.com <http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/trader-joes/73%25-organic-dark-
fatsecret.com <http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/dove/rich-dark-chocolate>,
thedailyplate.com <http://www.thedailyplate.com/nutrition-calories/food/ghirardelli/chocolate-intense-dark-twilight-delight-7225-cacao>

You should be able to see from the chart, that my Organic Fair Trade Dark
Chocolate has one of the lowest rates of sugar content per gram. This is good news for you. It's a primary reason I wanted to locate a truly healthy, low sugar, dark chocolate bar that I could recommend to you.

Here's the Report Card on My Recommendation

Now that I've introduced you to my own brand of organic dark chocolate, my Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate , let's review how this bar and its manufacturer stack up against my selection guideline.

I can assure you I wouldn't be recommending this bar if it didn't pass all my guidelines with flying colors.

Selection criteria My Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate Other Brands
Is chocolate produced from the least destructive processing techniques?
Yes -- certified organic chocolate helps assure this Not all dark chocolate brands use organic ingredients or are certified organic
Does chocolate avoid milk or milk byproducts? Yes -- milk or its byproducts not used in the process Many dark chocolate bars contain milk and milk byproducts
Does chocolate have low sugar content? Yes -- as detailed in the sugar comparison chart, this chocolate has some of the lowest sugar content per gram. Not all dark chocolates have low sugar contents. In fact, some have 2-3 times as much per gram as my Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate .
Does manufacturer achieve the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility? Yes -- the Joe Whinney established manufacturer of my Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate is Fair Trade Certified and certified organic by the USDA To find a manufacturer of dark chocolate both organically and Fair Trade Certified is a rare occurrence.
Does manufacturer avoid adding unhealthy ingredients like: trans fat, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, soy proteins, MSG, preservatives and stabilizers, milk and milk by products? Yes -- this manufacturer goes to great lengths to eliminate unhealthy ingredients from its chocolate process.
Only wholesome, organic ingredients are used. Not all chocolate and dark chocolate bars on the market use organic ingredients and avoid unhealthy additives. The key for you is to read all labels closely.

I selected an established chocolate manufacturer that is both certified organic (USDA) and Fair Trade Certified -- all this to provide you the highest quality dark chocolate... at the fairest price... and with a total commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

The result?

My Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate is one of your best choices for healthy dark chocolate.

3 Distinct Natural Flavors You Can Choose From

Not everyone has the same taste in chocolates...

So to provide you with a choice you'll love, you have three distinct flavors of dark chocolate bars to choose from.

All three dark bars come from the same unique manufacturer... certified organic and Fair Trade Certified to deliver natural, organic dark chocolate.

And all three bars have 80% cocoa content with low sugar amounts... one of my top selection criteria. Shouldn't it be one of yours as well?

The three mouth-watering flavors you can choose from are:

* Rich Dark Chocolate -- a robust organic dark chocolate sure to please the chocolate lover in you
* Cherry & Almond -- dark chocolate combined with tangy, sweet organic cherries and crunchy roasted almonds
* Mint -- a unique blend of spearmint and peppermint to create a surprisingly smooth bright taste.

Even if you're not a total chocolate lover, you still might want to try one of these flavors. In moderation, you'll be surprised on how delicious something this healthy can taste.

Use the chocolates to complement your healthy diet of wholesome (preferably organic) vegetables and fruits... substitute my Organic Fair Trade Dark
Chocolate for tempting sugary milk-chocolate sweets during the holidays or at any time

And if you have children, why not replace their over-processed sugary treats with healthy dark chocolate? You have 3 delicious flavors to choose from.

I must admit, the success of my team's research on this product totally surprised me. I never imagined such a healthy chocolate product existed from such a responsible manufacturer... a great combination for YOU.