Dark Chocolate Food Labeling: Tell the FDA to Stop the Deception!
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The FDA has not set a standard of identity for dark chocolate even though there are FDA standards for milk chocolate and white chocolate. Consumers are being deceived into thinking they are eating healthy dark chocolate, while actually consuming fake chocolate made from vegetable fats (usually palm oil). Without a standard of identity, companies are more apt to mislabel a product ‘dark chocolate’ on the front of a package without using real dark chocolate ingredients!
By law, if vegetable fat coatings are used, the ingredients list must state “chocolaty” or “chocolate flavored coating and vegetable oil.” That is the only way you would know it is not REAL dark chocolate. Sometimes the listing will illegally state “dark chocolate coating.” If the ingredients include alternative vegetable fats (palm oil, palm kernel oil, cottonseed oil, etc.), then it is not real dark chocolate. Why would consumers knowingly choose unhealthy fake chocolate coated snacks when there are many proven health benefits from eating REAL dark chocolate?
1. REAL dark chocolate has health benefits.
Dark chocolate is loaded with flavonoids and has many health benefits. Research studies have found that dark chocolate may have a positive impact on memory, brain performance, heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol, stroke risk, mood, stress, and longevity. It may also boost workouts and reduce food cravings.
When companies use palm oil in place of cocoa butter, the substitution may have a negative impact on the health of a consumer since palm oil has been shown to raise bad cholesterol (LDL). Cocoa butter has been shown to be a neutral fat that does not raise LDL cholesterol.
Many consumers eat dark chocolate for enjoyment and the antioxidant benefits it provides. The benefit of added antioxidants is eliminated when cholesterol raising fats, like palm oil, counterbalance the antioxidants benefit in the cocoa.
2. REAL dark chocolate tastes better.
The three components of REAL dark chocolate are cocoa powder (non-fat solids) and cocoa butter from the cacao bean with a small amount of real sugar to cut the bitterness. Cocoa butter melts below body temperature, releasing the flavor immediately in your mouth. When fake chocolate is used, cocoa butter is replaced with a vegetable fat (usually palm oil), imparting a waxy texture and too sweet taste because the chocolate does not melt in your mouth.
3. Companies are valuing their bottom line, not their ingredients!
Vegetable fats are cheaper ingredients. They do not need to be shipped or stored with strict temperature controls, so companies save on the cost of shipping and storing real dark chocolate. Others lack technical expertise to produce REAL dark chocolate.
4. Consumers deserve to get what they pay for!
Many are paying for what they believe is REAL dark chocolate and instead being sold a fake dark chocolate substitution.
NuGo Nutrition, the company that makes REAL dark chocolate coated protein bars for many lifestyles, urges the FDA to create a standard of identity for dark chocolate. Consumers deserve to know what is in their food!
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