Have you ever been fooled by dark chocolate? You are probably thinking to yourself that sounds like a silly question to ask, but unfortunately, the answer is most likely a YES! The United States is one of the top chocolate consuming countries in the world and has a huge marketplace for chocolate manufacturers. Having to host millions of chocolate lovers daily, it is important to make sure the chocolate you are eating is truly, REAL dark chocolate. While there are millions of dark chocolate eaters every day, it is unfortunate that so many products labeled dark chocolate are adulterated and not the real deal. To make sure that you aren't deceived by dark chocolate anymore, continue reading to find out how to stop the impostors, and see my Instagram post.

Beware of Palm Kernel Oil

When trying to identify dark chocolate, it is important to look at the ingredients on the nutrition label. Real dark chocolate will ALWAYS contain: cocoa powder (chocolate liquor, chocolate, unsweetened chocolate), cocoa butter, and sugar. If the ingredients list has palm kernel oil, it is adulterated fake chocolate. 

Unlike milk and white chocolate, dark chocolate has no milk in it. This gives dark chocolate a rich-brown taste and color. The sugar content often varies making it either sweet, bitter, or semi-sweet. Both cocoa-containing ingredients, cocoa powder and cocoa butter, are the most significant ingredients found in dark chocolate. These two key ingredients house the health-promoting properties that are often associated with dark chocolate.

Unfortunately, in the U.S., there are no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards of identify regulations for dark chocolate labeling. This means that food companies can sell and market products that do not contain REAL dark chocolate ingredients, yet are STILL able to label them as dark chocolate. They will use low-quality, cheap ingredients instead of using cocoa butter. Often it is in the form fats, like palm kernel oil or other vegetable oils as these oil substitutions are much more cost efficient than using cocoa. This substitution not only stripes the health benefits of dark chocolate, but severely impacts the overall taste and mouth-feel.

One of the most identifiable characteristics of dark chocolate, is its unique melt-in-your mouth taste. Fake dark chocolate will leave you with an unpleasant waxy taste and texture. While real dark chocolate taste and texture is second-to-none, it also contains a number of health-promoting properties. Real dark chocolate contains two important compounds, lecithin and flavonoids. Lecithin is known for its heart-health benefits by breaking down the cholesterol. Lecithin will contribute to raising HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol in blood lipid panels. Flavonoids, are antioxidants that protect cells against damage caused by free radicals. They can additionally help control blood pressure by improving overall blood flow. Improvement with blood lipid panels and blood pressure can decrease the progression of heart disease. But, don't forget- these benefits will only be found in REAL dark chocolate!

Read labels and sign the petition

The next time you are looking to buy dark chocolate, make sure that you are always looking for the purest dark chocolate ingredients- again real dark chocolate will always contain BOTH cocoa powder and cocoa butter. If there is no cocoa butter on back of the ingredient list- you have been deceived. This means you get a waxy taste and lose the real dark chocolate flavor and health benefits. You will be surprised to see how many manufacturers will try to trick us!

Be sure to help NuGo Nutrition by signing their petition to urge the FDA to create a standard of identity for dark chocolate to urge other companies to no longer use cheap, low quality ingredients! Treat yourself now to low sugar NuGo Slim coated in real dark chocolate!