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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Why You MUST Stay Away From Processed Chocolate

A new study indicates that chocolate can be contaminated with extremely high quantities of lead.

The problem with lead in chocolate has been known before now; it had been assumed that cocoa plants were tainted by leaded gasoline. However, a team of researchers has found that lead levels in processed chocolate are 60 times higher than could be accounted for by this.

It is currently unknown whether the additional contamination is coming from the shipping or the manufacturing process.

Elevated blood lead levels in children can produce learning disabilities, including damage to a child's ability to think, plan, organize and memorize.

Environmental Health Perspectives October 2005, Volume 113(10)Chicago Tribune October 30, 2005 Registration Required

Dr. Mercola's Comment:I hope you loaded up with natural whole food treats for all the treat-or-treaters who came to knock on your door on Halloween, and left those Hefty bags of candy bars, full of processed chocolate, at the grocery store.

If you've been skeptical at all of my warnings about chocolate, this new study provides compelling evidence of why it would serve you well to avoid most processed varieties.

Unprocessed chocolate does provide some health benefits from its flavonols, which have antioxidant properties. But it's important to keep in mind that you can derive a majority of these benefits by consuming fruits like blueberries, apples and grapes, and most all vegetables, including broccoli, greens and onions. This is obviously a method I would prefer most people utilize.

But if you like chocolate and want to eat it safely, consider these common sense tips:
  • Restrict your intake to dark, organic chocolate, which contains the most flavonols and avoids the dangerous processing procedures.
  • Consume chocolate in moderation.
  • Hold off on the chocolate if you are struggling with serious disease -- remember that chocolate contains lots of sugar, which depresses your immune system.

by Dr. Joseph Mercola


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