By Red Thalhammer
Healthy food products are trending in all categories, from prepackaged meals and snacks to desserts and of course, chocolate. Even mass-market brands are shifting their priories to accommodate the growing demand for transparency and healthier eating options. But searching out the trustworthy brands can become a dedication project. When you don’t have the time to read every label, how do you know which chocolate bars are truly nutritious and which are simply using healthy associations to sell product?
Sugar is a spice – not a condiment.
When gaging nutritional value, sugar content is a big clarifying factor. Since the industrial revolution, we have misunderstood the use of sugar. Before those days, enjoying a cube to sweeten your tea was a special treat. Now it is used as a condiment when it should really be treated as a spice. High sugar percentages are lurking everywhere, in beverages, nutrition bars, juices, cereals, granolas, yogurt, even breads!
Now a lot of chocolate companies have jumped on the healthy trend wagon, offering healing chocolate and lower sugar options that include the use of alternative sweeteners such as coconut sugar. While it’s true that these sugars can have more nutrition – they are STILL sugar. It’s quite tempting to believe they are healthier and therefore ok to eat. You are the judge and you vote with your money on what’s the real thing.
Due to it’s natural flavor, chocolate can take quite a bit of sugar without the taster noticing it. The stronger and bitter (often cheaper) the beans, the more sugar is needed to balance it out. A 60% dark chocolate bar contains approximately 40% sugar. That is a lot if you think about it. This basic rule of percentages is a good way to quickly identify dark chocolates with higher nutritional value. Also note when chocolate lists sugar as first ingredient, this means that sugar is the highest percentage of all ingredients in the bar. It is also good to be aware that mass-market brands stretch the cacao content (or the printed cacao %) by adding lots of cocoa butter. If real cacao butter is used, it’s a good pure vegetable fat but it still lacks much of the potent nutrients we get from the whole cacao beans.
The true cost!
We stole this line from "The True Cost," a documentary film about the damaging effects of fast fashion production in developing countries, which we recommend you to see. It’s the same with food. What is the true cost of consuming mass-produced sugar laden products that rob us of energy and create health hazards? With fashion, it goes back to destroying the health of communities in the producing countries due to harsh chemicals used in cotton fields and dies to name one issue.
In this sense, chocolate and other items containing lots of sugar should be much more expensive and healthy products should look like a steal next to them. However, when purchasing Antidote, you can be sure that everyone is paid fairly and the proceeds along the value chain goes to real people and independent companies.
For healthiest results, choose dark chocolates with cacao percentage over 75% from producers that advocate nutrition and quality ingredients over financial gain. Antidote was established before the rise of healthy eating trends and our mission has remained the same for eight years! To create delicious quality chocolate that is also good for you to boost mood, satiate hunger and give you energy anytime you need it, without the sugar loads. If you cannot find Antidote in your neighborhood, please let us know and as with everything in life, enjoy!