Do you feel weird after drinking flavored sparkling water on an empty stomach? Find out about the new leeway the natural flavor industry has to add drug-like compounds to our drinks. I’ll focus on a natural flavor called linalool.
Table of Contents
- Is Dark Chocolate Healthier than Milk Chocolate?
- What Makes Expensive Chocolate Better than Cheap?
- Should I avoid chocolates made with “vegetable oil?” (The answer might surprise you)
- Should I avoid chocolates made with soy oil?
- What is Lecithin?
- Is Soy Lecithin Worth Avoiding?
- What is the most popular valentine chocolate?
- What is “Vegetable OIl”?
- Should I avoid chocolate with palm oil?
- What is Lecithin?
- Here are the top 3 most popular boxed chocolate hearts among American consumers, according to google:
- Here’s my ranking of “healthiest” to least healthy among the three top-selling valentine chocolate hearts, and why.
Finding the Best (Healthiest) Chocolate for Your Valentine
Unless your valentine is in the 10% minority of chocolate refusers, shopping for chocolate is in your February future. If you’re an ingredient reader, you’re going to run into lecithin. Lots of lecithin. Especially soy and sunflower lecithin. Many folks are wary of ingredients like lecithin. This article will discuss what it is, why its added, and what you need to know to find the best tasting and healthiest chocolate for the money.
Is Dark Chocolate Healthier than Milk Chocolate?
What Makes Expensive Chocolate Better than Cheap?
Should I avoid chocolates made with “vegetable oil?” (The answer might surprise you)
Should I avoid chocolates made with soy oil?
What is Lecithin?
Is Soy Lecithin Worth Avoiding?
What is the most popular valentine chocolate?
Is Dark Chocolate Healthier Than Milk Chocolate?
You find articles promising dark chocolate will boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, prevent heart attacks, protect your brain from Alzheimer’s, and more! I mean, c’mon folks, it’s candy. Dark chocolate is not healthy in the sense of you’ll get important nutrients from eating it, and as much as I love chocolate, most of those articles are wishful thinking, at best.
This article is continued below...(scroll down)
It helped. I feel great.
"It’s helped. I feel great."
NBA baskeball player
This has been life changing
"Let me tell you this has been life-changing. I have all of her books, in audible and ebooks! I have gotten rid of all the hateful 8 oils. I have trained my body to eat its own previously toxic body fat. Download that pod it's a game changer!"
Broadcaster / The Megyn Kelly Show
Deep Nutrition changed my life.
Fox News Primetime host
Saved my life
I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine. Prior to reading the book, it was almost impossible for me to lose weight as a diabetic.
I feel free
For the last month, I have really been reading all labels on everything. I have completely remove those 8 oils you talk about. I must tell you, I feel great! I have more energy and I am now 197 lbs (have always been around 205 to 210lbs). I eat potatoes with real butter, grass fed steak, pasta with the right toppings. I eat everything! I seem to crave less sugar. I love it!
I feel so much better
I had terrible aches and pains everywhere in my body, my hands, shoulders and knees. I feel so much better and the way I feel is motivating me every day! Thank you
Mike Deb Wootan Burcin
Better than ever
I am an anesthesiologist in Orlando and a huge fan of both of your books! I have been incorporating your principles for the last 10 months and feel that my health is better than ever.
Marnie Robinson, MD
My allergies disappeared
The biggest difference for me (and a surprising one) is that my allergies have almost completely disappeared! This is a big deal for me, because I’ve had allergies most of my life and they have often affected what I do which is a teaching music in [a public school district]. In general, I feel much better and have more consistent energy throughout the day.
Heart Palpitations have Stopped
I’ve lost 20+ pounds (also fasting 16-24 hours daily) and haven’t had palpitations except for one occasion — I had a mini bag of Fritos for the first time in July. And, I feel better now on a daily basis than I ever did all through college.
Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix reader
I’ve lost over 50 pounds
I’ve lost over 50 pounds. I’m 56 years old. Cutting processed food and unhealthy fats from my diet was one of the first things I did on my health recovery journey...I went cold turkey off the bad oils. Emptied my pantry into the trash and just started eating real food
Mitzi Wilkinson Champion
Knowledge I didn’t know I needed
Your Fatburn Fix book is amazing, my friend. Thank you! I’m an Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and I know my stuff. This is the extra layer of knowledge I didn’t know I needed. Well done!
Fatburn Fix reader
Lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork is great
I have lost a solid 20 lbs and my bloodwork (after 3 months of eating your way) was even better! I was metabolically healthy (per your book) before I read your book, but barely. Lowering my weight, sealed the deal! I have been talking about you and your book to anyone who will listen...Thank you for all you’ve done and what you continue to do! You are changing lives for the better!
FatBurn Fix reader
Lost 20 lbs I could never shed
I love your Fatburn Fix! Has helped me so so much! I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed. I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils. It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn. I work out in the am and believe I am burning fat for energy not from food!
I feel great
My waist is four inches smaller. I feel great and many of the minor aches and pains that I had (knees and lower back) are gone. Also, my muscle tone is amazing, even though I have not increased my workout routine.
Completed Dr Cate's online course
The go-to for strength and conditioning coaches
Whenever I advise my clients about eating to perform I go straight to what I have learned from Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition has become the go-to for strength and conditioning coaches across the country.
Major League Baseball Agent with WME Sports
Dismantles the lie
Dr. Cate dismantles the lie that seed oils are healthy, which may the biggest lie about nutrition and health because it’s so insidious.
Ken D Berry, MD
Author of Lies My Doctor Told Me
She knows the chemistry
Dr. Cate alerts us to the harms of seed oils and she’s convincing because she knows the chemistry better than anyone.
Dr. Drew Pinskey, MD
Globally recognized internal medicine and addiction medicine specialist, media personality, LoveLine Host, and New York Times bestselling author
No one is better at communicating nutritional truth
Dr. Cate has had the single greatest impact on how we talk to people about fueling for both performance or durability. While we all are a little unique, the foundational principles of human nutrition are immutable. If you are looking to create a more durable, resilient body, no one is better at communicating nutritional truth than Dr. Cate.
Dr. Kelly Starrett
Physiotherapist coach and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author
Highly recommend The Fatburn Fix
Dr. Shanahan has had a significant impact on my practice of medicine. I am known as a Low Carb Doctor, but I never really appreciated the negative effects of processed seed oils on the health of my patients. I highly recommend The Fatburn Fix to my patients and have a loaner copy in my waiting room. It is amazing how quickly blood sugars and overall health improves with cutting seed oils. It is not just about the carbs!
Dr. Brian Lenkzes, MD
CEO of LowCarbMD San Diego, co-host of Low Carb MD Podcast and host of Life's Best Medicine Podcast
Respected in the sports world
Dr. Cate reordered my diet when I was with the L.A. Lakers, and the benefits, for me personally, were felt immediately and have served me to this day. I’ve come to take real food so seriously I started a small family farm. I know of no M.D./nutritionist more respected in the sports world than Dr. Cate Shanahan.
Brought seed oil issue front and center
Cate brought the seed oil issue front and center. Healthy fats matter. So much so that I created an entire product line to swap out bad fats with good.
Founding Father of the Primal/Paleo Movement
Optimal health starts with food
If you want to understand how optimal health starts with food, start with Dr. Cate. Her book Deep Nutrition leaves you with an appreciation of the profound relationship between our genes and the planet, inspiring us to be good shepherds of both.
Attribution author of The Whole 30
Helped me with endurance
Deep Nutrition really helped me with endurance. I started to feel better as a player. I was able to run more, I was able to be more active …and I just decided to keep going with it to this day.
Silver bullet for me
Dr Cate’s teachings helped me lose 60 pounds like it was nothing. It was like a silver bullet for me.
Paul Grewal, MD
Dr Grewal Internal Medicine, MD, author of Genius Foods
Radically improve your health…
Dr. Shanahan has provided a solid reference that deserves a place in the library of anyone who is seriously interested in nutrition. Her perspective on the vital role that healthy fat has in our diet is novel and, if implemented, can radically improve your health.
Dr. Joseph Mercola
Author of Fat for Fuel and Founder of Mercola.com
Pull up a chair…
I have based my work on the idea that getting the right kinds of healthy fats into your body and avoiding the worst fats is essential to optimal health. I've interviewed dozens of the world's top experts about this, and I know of no one who speaks more eloquently on this topic than Dr Cate. If she’s talking fats, pull up a chair. Take notes.
Author of the Bulletproof Diet
The key to unlocking my fatburn
I love your Fatburn Fix! Has helped me so so much! I have had the dreaded weight all my life - 20 or so pounds I could never shed. I have lost that now. I only eat 2 meals a day lunch and dinner with a glass of milk or cappuccino around 4 to hold me over. No snacking and not bad oils. It has been the key to unlocking my fatburn.
Saved my life
I would like to thank you for literally saving my life. Back in February, I had to be hospitalized while on vacation in Phoenix with an A1C of 11% and had to start taking 2 types of insulin and 2 other meds. I read the Fatburn Fix in April, and followed the program to a tee, and I’m down by 15 pounds, 6.8 A1C, and only one once weekly diabetes medicine.
> Tears of joy
I'm crying tears of joy and appreciation for all you've done for me and my health! Without Deep Nutrition and Fatburn Fix, I would literally still be in the vicious cycle I'd been fighting all my life! In a nutshell - I am no longer a compulsive overeating addict suffering under the crushing 'thumb' of all food and alcohol.
It’s called dark chocolate not because it’s got more chocolate, but because it’s got too little milk to be called milk chocolate. In other words, you can call any chocolate “dark” as long as it’s not milk chocolate. The term has no meaning beyond that, apparently. I feel somehow betrayed.
All else being equal dark chocolate doesn’t deserve higher nutrition marks than milk chocolate.
It is easier to find dark chocolate that’s lower in sugar, however, compared to milk chocolate. You easily tell if it’s a low sugar ‘dark chocolate’ by looking at the percent cacao. If it’s 80% or higher, that means 80% by weight is chocolate liquor, chocolate solids, or cocoa butter—stuff picked from a tree somewhere in the tropics. The 20% by weight is generally mostly sugar. When they add more cacao, the thing they usually subtract is sugar.
Is Expensive Chocolate any Better than Cheap Chocolate?
You may have grown up on cheap chocolate and like it better. That was me. Then I cured my sugar addiction. Now I’m a chocolate snob. I spend at least 10x more on each piece of chocolate, but each piece brings at least 10x more joy than cheap chocolate. And I eat less because it’s too darn expensive.
Sugar is the cheapest ingredient added to chocolate, and cheap chocolate contains much more sugar than better quality chocolate. The most expensive ingredient is fat. Cheap chocolate contains the cheapest fats and oils, usually something hydrogenated that shouldn’t be considered food. The mark of good chocolate is cocoa butter. Top-quality chocolates use only cocoa butter or cocoa fat, and cream.
So is expensive chocolate better? Yes. There’s more chocolate per calorie, and the fats tend to be of higher quality.
But unless you’re a major chocolate aficionado, you probably don’t need to empty your pockets for the super expensive stuff. The three most popular valentines chocolates I review down below are all pretty good quality chocolate. What you don’t want is something like this:
Should I Avoid Chocolates Containing “Vegetable” Oils?
A few “vegetable oils” you’ll find in chocolate are actually ok. So I want to take a moment to discuss the terminology.
What is “Vegetable OIl”?
Vegetable oil doesn’t come from vegetables like broccoli and carrots. Vegetable oil is a labeling term the FDA allows when the manufacturer wants leeway on exactly what oil will be added. It needs to be followed by a list specifying which oils might be added, and all oils must be similar in terms of their fatty acid profile.
Vegetable oils are not exactly the same thing as seed oils. Vegetable oil is a generic term for any oil that didn’t come from animals. What oil even comes from animals? Like nothing you’d ever eat (perfume oils, like mink and whale). So “vegetable oil” is a strange term that seems to exist to confuse everyone.
I’ve been writing about bad fats for years. All that time I’ve described bad fats as synonymous with vegetable oil. And until recently whenever the label said “vegetable oil” it listed one of the 3Cs and 3Ss listed here (under the red “don’t eat” column). But = lately, I’ve seen them using the term “vegetable oil” for palm and coconut. Palm and coconut can be healthy (more on that below). So now sometimes “vegetable oil” is healthy and sometimes it’s toxic.
What to do? Memorize the Hateful 8 toxic oils
As you can see, the terminology is confusing. I think that’s part of the reason so few people have any clue at all about toxic oils! I recommend avoiding chocolate containing any of the Hateful 8 toxic oils because toxic oils are the most important category of toxins in our food supply. You need to know about them if you care about your health.
Should I avoid chocolate with palm oil?
Palm oil can be healthy, or it can contain cancer-causing glycidol. The difference comes down to factory processing, specifically the temperatures and whether or not it was refined. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how it was extracted and refined, even if it was refined at all. The best advice I can give you is if it’s expensive, it’s probably better. The chocolate company may put this information on their website, too.
Palm oil is also picked on for being environmentally disastrous. I say it’s being “picked on” because soy, corn, and all monoculture crops are also environmentally disastrous. We tend to get more worked up about environmental disasters in foreign countries than in our own. I guess we’re just terrific hypocrites.
Should I Avoid Soy Lecithin?
Soy lecithin is a disgusting ingredient that that’s impossible to avoid in boxed candy hearts currently on the market. I want to discuss whether it’s worth ever trying to find chocolate without it. Spoiler alert: no.
What is Lecithin?
Lecithin is added to chocolate because it’s an emulsifier, meaning it makes chocolate smoother. Specifically, it makes the sugar and chocolate blend together better. If a chocolate bar has very little sugar, the manufacturer may not need to add any soy lecithin.
Lecithin is one of those processed food ingredients that’s getting harder and harder to completely avoid, and being a byproduct of soy oil processing, it’s contaminated with highly toxic compounds. Don’t watch the video below of how it’s made or you might not want to eat chocolate again. The video shows crude soy lecithin being removed during a stage of soy oil processing that I call the diarrhea stage. The correct term is “degumming.” This loose, watery material gets processed into a canary yellow powder.
Fortunately, when it comes to chocolate, soy lecithin is almost never present at higher than 0.5% of the weight of the chocolate candy, and usually less than that. The reasons are 1) it’s expensive and 2) you only need a little dab to do the job. More than about 0.5% by weight, and you actually get clumpy, bad results.
Here are the top 3 most popular boxed chocolate hearts among American consumers, according to google:
1. Lindt Valentine Milk Chocolate Truffles
2. Godiva Chocolatiera Assorted Chocolate Valentines Day Heart
3. Dove Valentine’s Assorted Chocolate Candy Heart Gift Box 21gsugar/220 cal
Here’s my ranking of “healthiest” to least healthy among the three top-selling valentine chocolate hearts, and why.
1. Lindt: No toxic oils and Less sugar than the others (14grams of sugar/220cal serving). Oddly, the label lists “vegetable oil.” Usually, that is a big no-no because, usually, that means one of the 3C or 3S toxic seed oils. Here, the oils used are palm kernel and/or coconut, both on the good fats list.
2. Godiva: More sugar than Lindt (20gm sugar/220cal). And better quality fats than Dove.
3. Dove: Slightly more sugar than the others (21gm sugar/220cal). And two kinds of hydrogenated fat.
Can you believe that the most popular is actually the healthiest? So it looks like Americans have good taste, at least when it comes to chocolate!