Don’t Be Misled With the “Healthy” Food That You Eat!
Are you one of the people who are very curious about what’s on your food? Maybe when you go to the grocery store, it takes you some time to check the labels to make sure you are eating the right food. But little do you know that not all claims are true? Many foods, even the ones marketed as healthy food, contain ingredients you should be avoiding.
Did you know that dark chocolate is a perfect illustration of a product that some brands claim is “healthier”?
Dark Chocolate as a healthier option.
Numerous nutritionists believe that eating chocolate with at least a 70% cacao content can have many positive health effects. Dark chocolate has a lot of flavanols that are very beneficial to our health. It can improve blood flow and even lowers blood pressure, boost skin density, hydration, reduce the risk of UV damage, and promote blood flow to the skin. Alongside these, eating dark chocolate appears to improve attention, verbal learning, and memory as it contains flavanols.
The dark truth about the healthier option.
According to recent research, some dark chocolate bars contain lead and cadmium, two heavy metals connected to a variety of illnesses in both children and adults. The dangerous side is that regular, prolonged exposure to even small levels of heavy metals can result in a number of health issues. According to Tunde Akinleye, the CR food safety researcher who oversaw this testing effort, the threat is highest for expectant mothers and young children because the metals can cause developmental difficulties, disrupt brain development, and result in lower IQ.
Why consuming lead and cadmium should alarm you
We are more familiar with lead exposure from gasoline, paint, mining, or even volcanic eruptions. On a more personal level, we can be exposed to lead through products like makeup or hair dye. Who would have thought that we can be exposed to lead when consuming peas, crops, fruit juices or even dark chocolate? Acute lead exposure can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, brain swelling and even seizures. But when you continue to consume food with high levels of lead, it can cause high blood pressure, dementia, heart and kidney disease.
Cadmium is mostly used in products including batteries, pigments, metal coatings, plastics, and even in cigarettes. It is very known as known as a cancer-causing agent. We get exposed to it since it is absorbed into plan and animal foods that we eat. Consuming large amounts of cadmium can severely irritate the stomach. It can cause vomiting and diarrhea while long term exposure can cause kidney disease and fragile bones.
How to choose chocolate options wisely.
As per Tunde, you don’t have to completely give up chocolate. Five of the chocolate bars in CR’s tests had relatively low amounts of both lead and cadmium, whereas the majority of them had alarmingly high levels of either one or the other.
To enjoy chocolate safely, there are a number of extra steps you can take in addition to making informed decisions about your purchases. This includes brands like Mast, Taza, Ghirardelli and Valrhona, which according to the test were the safer options. It’s also advisable in general to consume dark chocolate in moderation.
What foods are susceptible to lead and cadmium contamination?
Lead and cadmium are commonly found in food and do not appear to vary between natural, certified organic, and non-organic items. Aside from chocolate, numerous foods, including infant foods (made with carrots, peaches, pears, and sweet potatoes), dietary supplements, vitamins, protein powders, seaweed snacks, ginger cookies, packaged peaches and pears, and various fruit juices, have been discovered to contain one or both of these metals.
Tips to limit your lead and cadmium exposure
Since exposure to lead and cadmium is quite inevitable, here are some tips to limit further exposure.
- Make sure you’re getting enough of the three key nutrients: Calcium, Iron and Vitamin C
- Eat a balanced diet with moderate amounts of shellfish and organ meats as it is mostly high levels of Cadmium.
How to evaluate which foods are actually “healthy”?
There are strict standards here in the US that ensures that food is examined before it is sold. Foods purchased here aren’t completely risk-free, but the risks are substantially smaller because we frequently have access to data like lab reports from testing. This enables us to properly check for heavy metal contamination in the food we eat and provide for our families.
Be informed so that you can protect your health easier!