Chocolate is hard to hate. While it is true that 10% of the population does not particularly like it, the rest love it so much that the average American eats 12 pounds of chocolate a year, and a European eats 15 pounds. Every single day, 1 billion people enjoy a chocolate treat – many not just for the taste but the health benefits.
When eaten in moderation and in its purest form, chocolate is full of antioxidants; it reduces blood pressure and keeps cholesterol low. It can help you lose weight by decreasing your appetite, and it increases serotonin and dopamine – chemicals in the brain that make us happy.
Unfortunately, chocolate is not so easy to find pure anymore, and recent lab results have shown surprisingly high levels of toxic heavy metals in some of the world’s most prestigious brands. If you want to avoid this nasty surprise in your next chocolate bar, make sure you know what you’re buying before your next purchase.
Sources and Negative Health Effects of Lead and Cadmium
Recently, a study by As You Sow found levels of cadmium and lead, two toxic heavy metals, in 45 of 70 chocolate bar samples (including some organic brands) at levels higher than what is considered to be safe in drinking water (scroll down to see the full list of brands tested to be high in these metals).
Both lead and cadmium are toxic metals that are unhealthy even at the lowest of doses (even though the World Health Organization (WHO) permits 0.3 mcg of lead per gram of cocoa).
Lead is found in many places in our environment: air and drinking water, soil, dust, paint, cosmetics, contaminated herbal products from China, children’s toys, jewelry, ceramics, imported canned food, and many other sources (including chocolate).
Chronic exposure to this metal leads to anemia, weakness, kidney damage, and even brain damage. Its presence in our environments may be one of the causes for the rising numbers of dementia, autoimmune diseases, kidney problems, and cardiovascular disorders.
Children are most at risk due to their still developing and growing bodies and sensitive nervous systems. Lead can alter their brains and damage many organs. It can put them at risk for lower IQ, behavior problems, hyperactivity, and slowed growth.
Cadmium is not much better but less common in the environment.
Its sources of exposure are mainly cigarette smoking, some work environments, and certain foods, according to the Central of Disease Control (CDC).
“We are getting [lead and cadmium] from multiple source. The problem with those toxic heavy metals is they accumulate in the body. It’s terrible for adults, but especially for children,” said Eleanne Van Vliet, director of toxic chemicals research.
It is easy to see how these metals should be avoided…even if that means forgetting your favorite chocolate brands.
Why Lead and Cadmium is in Chocolate
So why do many chocolate brands contain lead and cadmium? Contamination.
Manufacturers claim that both are absorbed by the cacao plant in trace amounts and come from naturally-occurring sources.
Lead exists in the Earth’s crust, but being natural does not stop it from being toxic to humans (and animals). Cadmium also exists in nature as cadmium sulfide.
Today’s world is especially contaminated by both because of fossil fuels and industrialization, as well as mining and smelting; and both are now found in soil, air, water, and our homes.
Some plants absorb them more than others. Cadmium is often taken up by grains (especially rice), potatoes, and some vegetables. Lead is most likely found in leafy vegetables such as lettuce and root crops such as carrots.
Neither metal is highly absorbed by the cocoa beans. And yet cocoa products contain one of the highest amounts of lead, and a high amount of cadmium.
This shows us that the source of contamination, despite what manufacturers say, is unlikely to be from natural contamination from the soil. And there is research to back this up.
A research article in Environmental Health Perspectives looked at the studies done by American, Nigerian, British, and Australian researchers, and concluded that only a small part of the contamination is coming from the soil. The majority of lead and cadmium contamination occurs during the shipping and processing of cocoa products.
A study by As You Sow, an environmental and social advocacy organization, found that lead and cadmium contaminates chocolate through the following routes:
- Soil contamination due to man-made pollution
- Direct application of pesticides (lead and cadmium), fertilizers (cadmium) and sewage sludge disposal (lead and cadmium)
- Processing: fermentation, drying the beans, manufacturing (drying, refining, cinching), shipping, handing, packaging
“Lead contamination in (chocolate) products occurs after the beans are harvested and dried, during the shipping of those beans and/or the manufacturing of cocoa and chocolate products,” research shows.
Contaminated Chocolate: A Long-standing Issue
Lead and cadmium contamination in chocolate is not a new issue. Lead contamination in sweets has been discussed as early as 1820, yet it still persists today.
In 2002, there was a lawsuit in California against chocolate makers for failing to implement any measures to minimize lead and cadmium contamination. The lawsuit was withdrawn, but it triggered a study later published in October’s Environmental Health Perspectives. The study aimed at discovering the main source of the problem but was unable to do so. It did confirm that most of the contamination is not there when the beans are picked.
A recent small victory on this issue came from overseas. The European Union has developed guidelines for cadmium exposure: no more than 0.10 mg/kg of cadmium for milk chocolate, and no more than 0.30 mg/kg of cadmium for darker chocolates.
In the U.S., there is still no limit set for these metals in chocolate. However, in California, chocolate makers are required to put a warning label on their products if they contain more than 4.1 mg of cadmium per daily serving.
The FDA also has placed a limit of no more than 0.1 ppm of lead in children’s candy. Nevertheless, the U.S. has a long way to go to make chocolate safer.
Until it is, it is important to know which brands are best to buy and which to avoid.
Brands of Chocolate to Avoid
As You Sow laboratory-tested 70 chocolate products, and the results were unsettling: 45 of them contained higher levels of lead and cadmium than would be safe in our drinking water.
The brands that tested unsafe included:
- Earth Circle Organics
- Endangered Species
- Equal Exchange
- Newman’s Own Organics
- Ritter Sport
- Trader Joe’s
- Whole Foods
Some of these brands did not go over the limit for their products. As You Sow is contacting and trying to work with all of the chocolate manufacturers to implement strategies needed to minimize lead and cadmium in our sweets.
Finding Lead-Free and Cadmium-Free Chocolate
Finding chocolate that is truly safe when it comes to lead and cadmium is a challenge. Like previously discussed, both metals are found in the soil and may never be fully avoided. However, it is both important and possible to minimize the exposure.
Keep in mind that dark chocolate has higher amounts of lead and cadmium because it has higher percentages of cocoa than milk chocolate. This can be an issue for true chocolate lovers, but it is not a unsolvable problem.
As seen from many studies, the majority of lead and cadmium make their way into chocolate products during processing. Therefore, raw chocolate has the best chance of being lead and cadmium-free.
One artisan company called HNINA makes raw, vegan chocolates with unpasteurized, sprouted nuts. The chocolate’s maker, Vanessa, created the brand when she was pregnant with her twins; and craving dark chocolate, she was unable to find a brand she could trust, not even organic.
She said that most organic brands still highly process the cocoa and add too much sugar, processed sweeteners, and palm oil. Other brands add a lot of emulsifiers and even wax to make it look shiny.
Instead, Vanessa uses raw honey and pure maple syrup for both taste and preservation due to antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
The other chocolates that tested free of metals by As You Sow are:
- Green & Black’s Organic Milk Chocolate (34% Cacao)
- Toblerone of Switzerland Milk Chocolate with Honey and Almond Nougat
- Wild Harvest Organic Rich Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix
A quick note from our founder-
Over the past year, my friend Dave at PaleoHacks has been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold.
Well, today this new this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE
That's right -- as a special launch promotion, we're offering our brand new Paleo fat loss cookbook to you for free (Chef Pete lost 60 lbs using these recipes!) -- All you have to do is just cover a small shipping cost (international shipping is a bit more).
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because we only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:
just above your hips, lower belly, where your butt and legs meet... and even arms, neck and face.
However, there's good news:
Obesity researchers have now discovered a "metabolic jumper cable":
It jolts dead bodyfat back to life.
This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.
First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
- Not enough oxygen or nutrients reach fat cells, so they become unresponsive..
- Released fat can't be sent to other tissues to be burned, so fat cells suck it back in...
- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
- It wakes up un-responsive bodyfat with a powerful calorie-burning hormonal jolt....
- It pops open fat cells, sucks out the fat, sending it off before its yanked back in...
- It shuttles fat to your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys - even your bones - to be burned as energy.
Not only do those layers of "zombie fat" start coming off, but your entire body just works better.
Plus, as your whole body burns more calories, those patches of pocket obesity whittle away.
This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive.
It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know.
And on this next page, you'll find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
PS - Studies show that not only can healthy levels of this powerful calorie-burning hormone devour bodyfat and fortify soft muscle, but it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
If you haven't heard of Claude Davis yet do yourself a huge favor and watch this video. He's going to be the talk of 2016.
One of the smartest guys I ever had the pleasure of meeting, Claude set-up a unique system that changed his life forever.
I already tried it myself and let me tell... you I was completely blown away... His surprising tactics could make your life easier and give you the peace of mind you deserve.
Don't just take my word for it... watch his short video and decide for yourself.
Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.
Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.
Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.