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Question:
How much cocoa or chocolate do I need to consume in order to get a benefit?

Answer:
Several studies have shown that the consumption of cocoa flavanols can improve vascular function, blood-pressure, and raise levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. Positive results have been seen with 50 mg to 200 mg of flavanols per day, and, in Europe, products with at least 200 mg may legally claim they "promote normal blood flow" (the U.S. has not yet permitted such a claim).

The flavanol content of cocoa and chocolate products can vary tremendously and most do not list their flavanol levels on their labels. But ConsumerLab.com tested a wide variety of cocoa, cacao, and chocolate products and you can find their flavanol levels (as well as amounts of contamination with the toxic metals cadmium and lead) in the Review of Cocoa Powders, Extracts, Nibs, Supplements and Chocolate >>


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Also see these related CL Answers:



Why does dark chocolate have iron in it? Is it, or cocoa, a good dietary source of iron? >>

Which dark chocolate bar has the most flavanols with the least calories? >>

Why is there so much cadmium, a toxin, in cocoa powders but not in dark chocolate? >>

How much fat is there in chocolate? Is it saturated fat? >>

How much caffeine is really in dark chocolate bars? >>



See other recent and popular questions >>
Comments
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Alexandra16973   July 29, 2018
Could someone please translate the requirement of 50- 250 milligrams of dark chocolate into portions that come in bars,(ounces)?

ConsumerLab.com   July 30, 2018
To get 200 mg of cocoa flavanols, you'll need to eat anywhere from 13 grams to 58 grams of dark chocolate -- depending on the concentration of flavanols in the dark chocolate. To get a sense of these serving sizes, a regular-sized bar of Hershey's dark chocolate is 41 grams. However, Hershey's dark chocolate was found in our tests to have a relatively low concentration of flavanols, so you'd have to eat nearly 1.5 bars to get 200 mg of flavanols. See the Results table in our Review to see the flavanol amounts in different brands of dark chocolate. You can eat a lot less chocolate (and consume fewer calories) if you choose the right product. The Review is found at https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Cocoa_Powders_and_Chocolates_Sources_of_Flavanols/cocoa-flavanols/

Jeff11715   February 15, 2017
Alegio chocolate claims no heavy metals at all. This chocolate is grown on an Island off the African coast (Sao Tome).
You can find them at www.claudiocorallo.com
The address near me is, 522 Bryant St, Palo Alto California 94301
I would be happy to obtain a sample if you will test it!

Jeff

Anita11701   February 15, 2017
I would love to see testing of diabetic-friendly ChocoPerfection which is sugar free and delicious.

P E8534   March 16, 2016
Don't forget to test Alter Eco Dark Blackout!

ConsumerLab.com   March 21, 2016
Thank you for your suggestion, P.

kate190   October 3, 2014
I agree. The public definitely needs to know detailed information about dark chocolate bars. I have been nibbling Green & Black's for a few years only to discover that I would have to eat 2 serving sizes per day to get the suggested about of beneficial ingredients.....
to the tune of 480 calories and 22g sugar! But, this amount would also give me 8g fiber!
What's with that ?
Being that Black & Green's organic chocolate is produced in Poland; what are their regulations?
Kate

ConsumerLab.com   October 3, 2014
Hi Kate - We will be reporting soon on our tests of additional dark chocolate bars.

Bonnie187   October 1, 2014
More dark chocolate bars (70% or more) need to be tested by CL.Dagoba, Green and Black, Chocolove, Endangered Species, Lindt, Equal exchange and others. Why take Chocolate as a supplement when you can enjoy it as a bar? I never buy Hershey's dark bar due to excess sugar. I would really love to know if I am getting too much cadmium in the brands I buy (Chocolove and Equal Exchange).

ConsumerLab.com   October 2, 2014
Hi Bonnie - Thank you for your suggestions! More chocolate bars are being tested and the results will be posted soon.

This CL Answer initially posted on 10/1/2014. Last updated 8/8/2017.

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