This announcement comes after Consumer Reports tested Hershey's chocolate and discovered traces of lead and cadmium in the chocolate. Studies have revealed that these heavy metals can cause cancer and reproductive health problems when ingested.
Consumer Reports revealed last year that "dark chocolate bars contain cadmium and lead – two heavy metals linked to a host of health problems in children and adults." Consumer Reports conducted a test on 28 different chocolate brands to find out which ones contained these heavy metals.
The shocking results revealed that all chocolates contained heavy metals, but Hershey's dark chocolate bar contained the most amount of lead – 265 percent more than California's maximum allowable dose level.
Lily's, another chocolate brand from Hershey’s, was rated "high in lead" and "high in both lead and cadmium."' Lily's "Extra Dark Chocolate" bar tested for 144 percent in lead and their "Extremely Dark Chocolate" bar tested at 143 percent lead and 101 percent more cadmium than the allowable dose level.
Consumer Reports warned that "heavy metal poses particular concerns and no amount of it is considered safe." (Related: Dr. Bryan Ardis says compound from licorice root may stop hyperclotting caused by venom peptides.)
Voskiul insisted that cadmium and lead are found in Hershey's products because the metals are naturally occurring minerals in agriculture that get transferred into the product via cocoa beans. Still, the fact remains that out of the 28 brands tested, Hershey's had some of the highest levels of lead and cadmium.
Consumer Reports focused on the dark chocolate bars made by Hershey's at the end of 2022. The organization cautioned that they "contained possibly harmful levels of lead, cadmium or both for people who eat more than one ounce per day." The three bars mentioned weigh in at 1.45 ounces and 2.8 ounces.
This announcement has led to a class action lawsuit against the Hershey company for its "deceptive and misleading business practices."
The plaintiffs argued that Hershey's didn't disclose on the products’ packaging that the chocolates contained lead and cadmium.
Lead is a dangerous metal, especially when consumed by pregnant women and children. Researchers also warned that there is no level of lead that is safe.
Tunde Akinleye, the CR food safety researcher who led the testing project, explained that consistent, long-term exposure to small amounts of heavy metals can result in many health problems.
The danger is greatest for pregnant women and young children because heavy metals can cause developmental problems, affect brain development and result in lower IQ.
There are also health risks for people of any age. For example, frequent exposure to lead in adults may cause hypertension (high blood pressure), immune system suppression, kidney damage, nervous system problems and reproductive issues.
According to the lawsuit, children, specifically those younger than six, are prone to lead poisoning that can lead to developmental and health problems.
Cadmium is also mentioned as a product that is used in various materials like batteries, pigments, metal coatings and plastics. The metal is also found in cigarette smoke and is known as carcinogenic to humans.
With the news about Hershey's chocolate containing toxic heavy metals, it's better to make changes to your snacking habits.
The cacao bean that's used to make chocolate is full of heart-healthy flavonols and antioxidants. According to a study, people with hypertension who consumed chocolate bars with at least 70 percent cacao showed improved blood vessel flexibility.
Follow the tips below to make sure that the chocolates you eat are actually good for you:
Check the ingredients list
When buying chocolate, read the ingredients list. Like other food products, fewer ingredients are usually better.
Keep in mind that true chocolate is made with only cacao beans, cocoa solids and sugar.
Buy products that are at least 70 percent cocoa or cacao
The higher the percentage of cocoa or cacao, the less sugar the chocolate contains.
A bar that is 70 percent cocoa or cacao (the terms are often used interchangeably on labels) will have 30 percent sugar. A bar with 85 percent cocoa or cacao will contain only about 15 percent sugar.
Dark chocolate contains at least 50 percent cacao, has a more pronounced chocolate flavor and is a good source of heart-healthy flavanols and antioxidants from the cacao.
Milk chocolate, or chocolate products with 49 percent or less cacao, also contains milk solids and additional sugar, resulting in a sweeter taste. Despite the name, white chocolate does not contain any cacao, only sugar, milk solids and cocoa butter.
If a bar is not labeled with a percentage, this means it's probably full of sugar. Avoid chocolate with ingredients like artificial colors or flavors and high-fructose corn syrup.
Research has found that a chocolate bar with 70 percent cacao offers health benefits, and that 85 percent dark chocolate can help boost your mood.
Read up on good and bad additional ingredients
Additional ingredients like nuts, which contain healthy fats, can add more nutritional benefits to chocolate.
On the other hand, flavors like caramel only add extra sugar and have no nutritional value.
Choose chocolates with lower sugar
Try looking for chocolates with only eight grams or less per ounce.
Bars sweetened with agave, coconut sugar, dates or honey are fine, but those sweeteners still contain calories that will elevate your blood sugar.
If you have diabetes, look for products made with sugar alternatives such as stevia.
Follow recommended serving sizes
While dark chocolates are considered a healthy treat, read the nutrition facts and know the recommended serving.
Try to stick to one to two ounces of chocolate per day.
Visit Ingredients.news to learn more about other harmful ingredients lurking in processed foods.
Watch the video below to learn about the health benefits of chocolates.
This video is from the Holistic Herbalist channel on Brighteon.com.