|Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate Bar|
|Baker's Unsweetened Baking Chocolate Bar All Natural|
|Bulletproof Upgraded Chocolate Powder|
|Cacao by Advanced Physician Formulas|
|Chocolove Extra Strong - 77% Cocoa Content|
|CocoaVia Sweetened Dark Chocolate flavored mix|
|Dagoba Organic Chocolate Cacao Powder|
|Dove Dark Chocolate|
|Earth Circle Organics Organic Balinese Cacao Nibs|
|Endangered Species Chocolate Natural Dark Chocolate|
|Equal Exchange Chocolates Organic Panama Extra Dark|
|Futurebiotics Dark Chocolate Extract|
|Ghirardelli 100% Unsweetened Cocoa|
|Ghirardelli Chocolate Intense Dark Twilight Delight|
|Ghirardelli® Intense Dark 86% Cacao|
|Green & Black's ORGANIC 85% Cacao Bar|
|Hawaii Pharm Cacao|
|Healthworks Cacao Powder|
|Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate|
|Hershey's Cocoa - 100% Cacao Natural Unsweetened|
|Hershey's Cocoa - Natural Unsweetened|
|Lily's Dark Chocolate - Original - Stevia Sweetened|
|Lindt Excellence 90% Cocoa Supreme Dark|
|Moser Roth Edel Bitter 85% Cacao|
|Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs|
|Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder|
|Nestle Toll House Cocoa|
|NOW Certified Organic Cocoa Powder|
|NuNaturals Pure Liquid Cocoa Bean Extract|
|Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate - 85% Cacao|
|Rapunzel Organic Cocoa Powder|
|Source Naturals ChocoLift|
|Sunfood Raw Cacao Powder|
|Swanson Full Spectrum Cacao|
|Trader Joe's 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate|
|Trader Joe's Cocoa Powder Unsweetened|
|Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Lover's Bar|
|Viva Naturals Cacao Nibs Organic|
Cocoa powders, chocolates, and other products made from cacao beans can be rich in flavanols — which may help with blood flow, blood pressure, memory, cholesterol levels. But beware: Many products are contaminated with high amounts of cadmium, a toxin you should avoid. In addition, the amounts of flavanols are rarely disclosed, so you have no idea what to expect unless you test them in a lab — which is what ConsumerLab.com has done.
Among dark chocolate bars, our tests revealed that two popular bars to be contaminated with cadmium at several times established limits. And being labeled "organic" did not ensure better quality. Also, the "% cocoa" (or cacao) on labels was often a poor indicator of flavanol levels. In fact, several bars claiming 80% to 85% cacao contained lower amounts of flavanols than bars claiming 56% to 77%.
Fortunately, we were able to identify certain dark chocolate bars rich in flavanols and low in cadmium, as well as relatively low in calories -- one of which is our Top Pick for Dark Chocolate.
Our tests also revealed high levels of cadmium in most cocoa powders, and some were contaminated with lead, another toxic heavy metal. It would seem best to use cocoa powders in moderation and to avoid two products with shockingly high levels of cadmium. We were able to identify one cocoa powder with a much better ratio of beneficial flavanols to harmful cadmium, making it our Top Pick for Cocoa Powders.
If you like cacao nibs (bits of cocoa beans), we tested three — one of which appears to be a better option than the others — making it our Top Pick for Cacao Nibs. We also tested cocoa supplements and identified one providing the most cocoa flavanols — and at the lowest cost: our Top Pick for Cocoa Supplements.
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