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I highly recommend you check this out and cure diabetes like I did. Maxine

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hershey's Nutrition - Exposing Facts That They Don't Want You To Know

Note: This Hershey's Nutrition post is really long but contains some very useful information I think every diabetic, every low carb dieter, and every dark chocolate fan should know. It includes facts many chocolate companies will not want you to know but you need to know.

Before I tell you about the Hershey's nutrition information I discovered, let me first give you a quick Hershey's chocolate quiz to get you thinking (answers at bottom of post):

Hershey's Nutrition Quiz Question #1:
Which of the following Hershey's Kisses have the fewest effective carbs (total carbs minus the dietary fiber)?
  1. Milk Chocolate
  2. Filled with Carmel
  3. Hugs (white chocolate and milk chocolate swirled together)
  4. Dark Chocolate
  5. Milk Chocolate with Almonds
  6. Cherry Cordial
Hershey's Nutrition Quiz Question #2:
Which of the following Hershey's Bars have the lowest effective carbs?
    1. Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar
    2. Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar
    3. Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bar
    4. Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate with Almonds Bar
      Hershey's Nutrition Quiz Question #3:
      Which of the following Hershey's Bars have the most protein?
      1. Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar
      2. Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar
      3. Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bar
      4. Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate with Almonds Bar
      As I posted a few days ago, I "cheated" on my low carb high protein diet recently by indulging in a gooey Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bar with Almonds. It was given to me by a friend who is well aware of my diabetes diagnosis and my special diet but she had heard that dark chocolate didn't have nearly as many carbs as milk chocolate and she said she got the kind with almonds to add protein (nice friend!). I knew (or I thought I did) that dark chocolate has fewer carbs than milk chocolate but yesterday I decided to find out how big a difference in carbs there is between Hershey's special dark chocolate bar and their milk chocolate bar. I was surprised by what I found and I ended up spending hours reading about chocolate.

      Based on the boards, blogs, and articles I read, there seems to be A LOT of confusion and misinformation out there about chocolate. It really took some digging to ferret out the truth. It seems there are many diabetics and others on low carb high protein diets that eat dark chocolate frequently as their special treat. In fact, many do so daily. So, I decided it was very important that I post the most important information that I learned for my fellow diabetics and low carb dieters.

      First and very important, the term "dark chocolate" has no official definition in the US Federal Regulatory Code and there is no specific guidance by the FDA. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, and many other cacao terms are clearly defined but not so for dark chocolate.  This leaves it wide open for American chocolate companies to put the "dark chocolate" label on just about anything they want as long as they follow the definitions set for chocolate in general. In other words, the use of the term "dark chocolate" is not regulated at all. Moreover, there are no standards that apply. There is no required minimum percentages of cocoa powder, no minimum amount of chocolate liquor, and no minimum amount of cocoa butter beyond what is required to call it chocolate. Given all the recent news on the health benefits of dark chocolate due to its exceptionally high flavanol antioxidant content, I think this needs to change and I encourage everyone to contact the FDA by email or by phone and voice your opinion (I personally think email is better as it leaves a permanent record).

      Good news for chocolate lovers has been all over the media, in many popular magazines and websites, on the 24 hour news outlets, on the popular talk shows, in most of the newspapers, on the NPR shows, etc....that "dark chocolate," with the generally accepted meaning to be chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, is actually good for you! This is because of the very high concentration of flavonoid antioxidants that are known to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc... One Huffington Post article touted dark chocolate as one of the top ten most healthy foods of the last decade. Really dark chocolate is supposed to be a super healthy food for diabetics as long as they don't eat too much sugar with it. There's been a country wide celebration of sorts that something so delicious it feels sinful to eat could actually have such a positive health benefit. The chocolate companies have fueled this in part and Hershey's even funded a large scale study and posted information about it on their website. It has been pointed out repeatedly in the media that dark chocolate (REAL dark chocolate) has even more antioxidants than just about any other food. This includes the foods that are famous for having a very high level of antioxidants such as nuts, blueberries, and green tea. So, most Americans, especially those paying close attention to their health like many diabetics, are WELL AWARE that "dark chocolate" is supposed to be GOOD for you.

      But as they say, the devil is in the details and I think American consumers are often being fooled by products labeled as "dark chocolate" that really aren't in the more traditional sense of the word. Read on...

      When most people buy a candy bar labeled as "dark chocolate," they have certain expectations. The traditional use of the term "dark chocolate" means more cocoa and no milk which of course makes it darker. Most people assume that when chocolate is darker in color, it contains more cocoa, has far fewer carbs, and has a much higher concentration of the powerful antioxidants which are of great benefit to diabetcis. However, I have found that this is often not true for American products labeled as "dark chocolate."  It does seem to be true most of the time for the nicer European brands like Lindt but it is often not true for the most popular American chocolate companies.

      Again, I believe American chocolate consumers are often being fooled by a "dark chocolate" label that does not mean what it does in the traditional sense of that term. AND...I believe this is because the FDA does not regulate what can be labeled as such which leaves it open for abuse and misleading marketing by the chocolate companies. 

      Cocoa powder is very expensive. Therefore, if making dark chocolate means adding more cocoa, that means it would be much more expensive to make traditional dark chocolate than milk chocolate.

      What if the American chocolate companies could find a way to produce "dark" chocolate WITHOUT adding more cocoa (or adding just a little more) thus increasing their profit margin?

      Guess what? They do have another way to make it appear darker:

      Another way to make chocolate darker in color is through a process called the "dutch process." It was originally used to make cocoa powder less bitter and more soluable in liquids to facilitate baking. In this process, cacao solids are soaked in an alkaline solution before they are ground into powder to decrease the acidity (raise the pH). The longer the cacao solids are soaked the less acidic they become AND THE DARKER THEY BECOME!!

      For emphasis: American chocolate companies can make "dark" chocolate without adding more cocoa and still get away with labeling it as "dark chocolate" because the FDA doesn't regulate the use of this term on food labels. Instead of adding more cocoa, which is expensive, they use a smaller amount of DUTCH chocolate (cocoa processed with alkali).

      Here's are two of the main problems with this from a health perspective:
      1. Chocolate loses much of its very healthy flavanol antioxidants in this process! Only 40% of the antioxidants are retained in lightly dutched cocoa, only 25% is retained in medium dutched cocoa, and only 10% is retained in heavily dutched cocoa (also known in some circles as ultra-dutched cocoa). What a waste! The more processed a food, the less nutritious it becomes.
      2. "Dark chocolate" made in this way does not necessarily contain fewer carbs than the same serving size of milk chocolate. 
      Here's another major problem:

      Consumers get fooled! They think they're buying dark chocolate in the traditional sense of the word because it is labeled as "dark chocolate" and because they can see the chocolate is much darker.

      The Hershey's Special Dark bar is Ultra-DUTCHED! Take a look at the ingredients listed on the package:

      sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, cocoa processed with alkali, milk fat, lactose (milk), soy lecithin, PGPR (emulsifier), vanillin, artificial flavor, milk

      Notice the "cocoa processed with alkali."

      In fact, the cocoa used in Hershey's "special dark" chocolate has been soaked in an alkalizing agent for an extra long time.  This means it has lost most of its flavonoid antioxidants! It also means that it does NOT contain the amount cocoa (or cocoa butter but that's another story) that traditional dark chocolate contains. contains milk, a much cheaper filler.

      It worthy to note that even though Hershey's provides the "nutritional information" on their website they do not include a list of their ingredients with this. They don't seem very proud of their ingredients do they?

      Hershey's used to make a "Dutch Cocoa Powder" but they discontinued it after consumers complained that the artificial darkening of the cocoa during the dutch process could mask the use of inferior cacao beans. Natural cocoa powder is slightly acidic, with a pH of around 5 - 5.5. Dutch processed cocoa has a pH in the 6.8-7.2 range. Now they make a "Special Dark Cocoa Powder," which is the same process they use to make the Special Dark Candy Bar, that has an even higher pH (more alkaline, less acidic) which is REALLY dark. Some people complain that desserts turn out almost black using the "Special Dark Cocoa Powder" and dryer than normal. I will ONLY buy natural cocoa powder from now on.

      I should point out that I didn't find any other references online that pointed out these facts in such a clear fashion. I had to dig really deep and it took a while to figure this stuff out. If you are a consumer shopping at your local supermarket, it is highly unlikely you're going to know this stuff and you're certainly not going to know it by reading the label. We need to get the word out.

      I'm concerned that many diabetics may be buying "dark chocolate" thinking it's low carb when it really isn't. Be SURE to check nutrition information labels very carefully.

      I'm also concerned that many diabetics may be buying "dark chocolate" because they think it is packed with flavanol antioxidants when they brand they are buying has lost most of this due to the dutch process. It's not like the relative antioxidant content is printed on the packaging. HOWEVER, if you read the ingredients and see "cocoa processed with alkali" listed or you see "dutch chocolate," you probably want to pick a different product.

      As far Hershey's tricky little marketing scheme using the "Special Dark Chocolate" term on the label, I'm recommending to all of my readers to steer clean of anything marked as "Special Dark." It's not just dutched, it's ULTRA-dutched, which means most of the antioxidants, so beneficial to diabetics, have been eliminated in the overly processed cocoa. It is not low carb either.

      On thing I found particularly offensive on the Hershey's website was a prominent link on their Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bar page that says, "Learn About Dark Chocolate and Antioxidants" which linked to a page describing the extraordinary health benefits of of the flavonoid antioxidants found in REAL dark chocolate WITHOUT ever explaining the dutch process in their "special dark" chocolate and the fact that this eliminates most of the antioxidants. For fairness, not all of the antioxidants are eliminated but most are.

      Answers to the Hershey's Nutrition Quiz:

      #1: Milk Chocolate with Almonds - 20 grams effective carbs per serving (9 Kisses)

      Did you pick dark chocolate like me? It came in second lowest with 22 effective carbs per serving (9 Kisses).

      #2: It's a tie! There are 19 effective carbs per serving (9 pieces) in both the Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar with Almonds and the Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate with Almonds Bar. 

      For comparison, the Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar contains 25 effective carbs and the Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bar contains 22 effective grams of carbs.

      Notice it makes no difference whether you buy the "special dark" bar or the "milk chocolate" bar if you want almonds. This would not be true in the higher quality real dark chocolate like Lindt. Hershey's does make a 60% dark chocolate but it is much more expensive and not easily found.

      The biggest difference in carbs in Hershey's bars is to buy a bar that has almonds and there are better choices like the Lindt 85 bar.

      #3: The Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds Bar has the most protein with 4 grams beating out the Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bar with Almonds by one gram. It must be because of more milk. Notice that in the higher quality dark chocolates that do not contain milk, the darker the chocolate, the higher the protein. This is because it has more of the cacao bean. For example, the Lindt 70 Bar has 3 grams per serving, the Lindt 85 Bar has 4 grams per serving, and the Lindt 90 Bar has 5 grams per serving.

      1 comment:

      1. high protean diet is high risk of dying fast.

        So much for good research in this article