Things To Know About Dark Chocolate And Heavy Metals

One recently Client Report investigation Strike fear into the hearts of chocolate lovers everywhere. After examining 28 dark chocolate bars, scientists discovered heavy metals lead and cadmium in all of them. For 23 chocolate bars, eating just one ounce would put an adult over the recommended daily threshold for Heavy metals in food by public health officials in California, which the authors say they chose because it is the best standard of protection available.

However, experts say this report only provides a small window into a bigger problem. Heavy metals can be detected in a wide variety of foods, and limited testing and lack of labeling requirements leave consumers in the dark. But there are steps you can take to limit your exposure and protect your family.

What are the risks of eating foods containing heavy metals?

Some metals, like iron, are essential to your health. Others, like lead and cadmiumserves no useful purpose to the body in any quantity and is toxic in large amounts, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For example, no lead level is considered safe, but it becomes more dangerous when it accumulates in the body. The The most serious risk is for children, because their bodies are small and still developing. According to the CDC, lead exposure can affect nearly all organ systems, but is especially dangerous for the central nervous system. including the brain. Blood levels as low as 10 g/L can slow down the neurological development of children. In both children and adults, lead can also affect memory and cause conditions like anemia, stomach problems, and high blood pressure.

Exposure to cadmium over a long period of time, meanwhile, can lead to stomach problems and possibly kidney damage, in both children and adults.

Dr. Robert Wright, professor of environmental medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, discovered recently that lead can make its way into popular chocolate bars. Some pollution is inevitable. Since dark chocolate is not a staple food and therefore you (and especially children) may not eat as much, Wright says he wouldn’t discourage enjoying it in moderation ( although he suggests that parents should not give their children dark chocolate). which brand Consumer Newspaper Said to have the most lead and cadmium). Wright added that he hopes that the moment dark chocolate hits the headlines will prompt companies to take a closer look at why some bars have more heavy metals than others.

Why are there heavy metals in food?

Many heavy metals, including lead and cadmium, occur naturally in the soil and they enter the food supply from the ground. But some have been added to the environment by human activity globally, including pollution caused by agriculture, industry and transportation.

For example, lead was used in gasoline in the U.S. for decades until it was banned in 1996, spread in the atmosphere and deposited on the ground, where it remains in the soil to this day. , said Wright. “There are quantities that can be measured [of heavy metals] in most foods,” he said, “simply because there are metals in our soil.”

The FDA has warned the public about the possibility of unsafe amounts of heavy metals in other foods, including mercury in fish and Arsenic in rice. Mercury is commonly found in fish partly as a result of runoff from natural causes, such as volcanic eruptions, and as a waste product from certain human activities, such as burning coal for fuel, burning municipal waste. and flows from industrial processes such as the manufacture of electrical equipment. Meanwhile, rice plants tend to absorb arsenic from the soil and water in which it grows. Arsenic also occurs naturally, is part of the earth’s crust, and is the result of human activities, such as pesticide use.

So should I stop eating dark chocolate?

Katarzyna Kordas, an associate professor of public health at the University of Buffalo, says there are two main reasons not to eat chocolate. First, the fact that heavy metals can be present in small amounts in many different foods. Although the FDA inspects a limited number of foods each year, including several hundred every year for the Comprehensive Dietary Study, it does not examine foods from specific brand or storeand manufacturers are not required to disclose heavy metals on food labels.

“There have been calls for better labeling and more transparency about what is in manufactured products. To do this, companies need to test their products regularly, provide this information, and act on it to reduce heavy metals as much as possible,” Kordas said. “It shouldn’t be up to individuals to figure this out.”

But in the meantime, it doesn’t really make sense to just eat one type of food. And that leads to Kordas’ second reason not to give up dark chocolate: if you do, you could be missing out. Health benefits has been connected with moderate consumption on tools. For example, studies show that the flavonols in dark chocolate can promote heart health.

How can I protect myself and my family from heavy metals in food?

It’s important to note that heavy metals can build up in the body not only from food, but also from exposure to contaminated water, air, household and consumer products, says Wright. In other words, no matter what you do with your diet, it’s unlikely you’ll completely avoid them. However, you can certainly take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to dangerous levels.

Instead of trying to avoid certain foods, Kordas says, for most people, it’s best to work toward a diet that includes a variety of foods and avoids overeating one food. consuming too much of any one metal.”

A healthy, balanced diet is also believed to protect the body from heavy metals. If your body lacks healthy heavy metals in low amounts—like zinc and copper—it can absorb too much of dangerous heavy metals like lead and cadmium, says Wright. And CDC recommends that children eat diets rich in calcium, iron, and vitamin C, all of which can prevent the body from absorbing lead. Overall, a healthy diet also makes the body healthier, says Wright, and will promote the growth of your child’s brainThis will help counteract the effects of negative factors in their environment.

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