Chocoholics may be at risk

By Don “Doc” Sanders

If you are like me, your consumption of chocolates goes up maybe 200% during the Christmas season. Truffles, Marie’s (a local favorite of mine, if you’re still in the gift-giving mood), Ghirardelli’s, chocolate turtles, chocolate drops, white chocolate, Belgium chocolates — how many more of them can I name? 

But other than putting on a few pounds or messing up my complexion, why worry?

Here’s why (at the risk of bringing you down from your chocolate high): Chocolates contain relatively high levels of toxic heavy metals. Especially worrisome are cadmium and lead. Consumer Reports found that 23 of the 28 brands of dark chocolate candy bars they tested contained levels of cadmium and lead considered toxic to humans. 

Brands checked included Dove, Ghirardelli, and lesser-known labels such as Alter Eco and Mast. Milk chocolates also have a heavy metal contamination issue, though not quite as high. 

At the same time, chocolate contains health-promoting flavanols, molecules that accumulate in the skin and leaves of many plants, such as fruits and vegetables.… Continue reading