DENVER -- What would Valentine’s Day be without chocolate? More than 58 million pounds of chocolate is sold during the days leading up to the lover’s holiday, but health experts say not all of it is worthy of making the Valentine's Day cut.
Chocolate that isn't properly processed can have lead absorbed by the atmosphere in countries where cocoa beans are grown. Run-of-the-mill chocolate can also contain insect fragments.
It is important to consider that these same types of fragments can also be found in the healthy fruits and vegetables we enjoy, and the benefits of chocolate far outweigh the risks. Registered dietician Kate Patton of the Cleveland Clinic said, “If you`re getting the 70 percent dark chocolate there`s research that shows they have polyphenols ... that can help reduce inflammation in arteries.”
Experts say if you want to get the cleanest chocolate, upgrade.
Marissa Williams of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Writer Square said making ultra clean chocolate requires stringent standards.
The chocolate used to make products is organic and carefully scrutinized. “We want to make sure our chocolate is clean and properly stored and properly handled at all times,” she said.
Health experts say even if you don’t usually add sweets to your diet, it’s fine to enjoy a little chocolate on Valentine’s Day, just cut back on other high-calorie treats.
Pasta dinners and wine can raise blood sugar levels so diabetics should exercise caution.
See more interesting facts about chocolate and the history of Valentine’s Day.