Dark chocolate
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Dark chocolate is a guilt-free treat that is approved by many nutritionists. It has shown improvement in health upon consumption compared to other sweets. It is a delicacy that is low in sugar, high in fiber, and includes magnesium and potassium.

  • Nonetheless, The product that is frequently suggested to include in diet for antioxidants is found to be not as healthy as we believed. According to research performed by Consumer Reports dark chocolate consists of harmful amounts of heavy metals. Let us understand the study and find out what brands are comparatively safe to consume.

Heavy metals present in dark chocolate

Consumer Reports performed a test to find more details about the heavy metals traced in dark chocolate. They took a sample of 28 brands and found the presence of Cadmium and Lead in all of them. The levels discovered are not high but they are above the suggested levels.

  • James Rogers, the director of Consumer Reports, a food safety research and testing organization confirmed that consuming even 1 ounce of dark chocolate per day can put you at risk. However, there isn’t a need to completely ostracize the product. He suggested that properly regulating the total amount of heavy metal you consume by choosing safe food and maintaining a balanced diet is sufficient.
Dark chocolate contains Lead and Cadmium
Image courtesy of Resplash

What are Lead and Cadmium?

These are both heavy metals that are naturally discovered in the soil. Many products including sweet potato, spinach, and carrots contain certain degrees of them. Cadmium is a heavy metal that when consumed even in a small amount can over time affect kidneys and bones. It can also cause cancer and is tough to filter out of the soil.

On the other hand, Lead is known to cause brain damage and create complications related to IQ and development in kids. It also causes hypertension and weakens the nervous system, kidney, and reproductive system in adults.

  • The amount of lead and cadmium is dependent on the quality of the soil. The Consumer Reports performed the test according to the measurements provided by California’s MADL (maximum allowed dose levels). A person should consume less than 0.5 mg of Lead and 4.1 mcg of Cadmium in a day. Therefore, there is some dark chocolate that is relatively safe to consume now and again.

Result of the test


Chocolates High in Cadmium Chocolates High in Lead
Beyond Good Pure Dark 70% and 80% Tony’s
Equal Exchange Lily’s
Lindt Lindt
Scharffen Berger Trader Joe’s
Alter Eco Hershey’s
Pascha Chocolove
Dove Godiva
Endangered Species


Chocolates Unsafe to consume Chocolates Safe to consume
Theo Organic Pure Dark 70% Cocoa Mast Organic Dark Chocolate 80% Cocoa
Theo Organic Extra Dark 85% Cocoa Taza Chocolate Organic Deliciously Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa
Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate 85% Cocoa Ghirardelli Intence Dark Chocolate 86% Cocoa
Lily’s Extremely Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa Ghirardelli Intence Dark Chocolate Twilight Delight 72% Cocoa
Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate 70% Cocoa Valrhona Abinao Dark Chocolate 85% Cocoa


According to the results, the content of Cadmium and Lead is related to the soil in which the cocoa beans are grown. There are dark chocolates that are high in cocoa but low on the scale of heavy metals. Therefore, discovering ways to lower the number of heavy metals in the cocoa beans used in the making of chocolates and chocolate mixes is a way to make it safe for consumption.

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Source: Consumer Reports
Kairavi Pandya is a Senior Writer at Spiel Times. She has a fascination with cinema, multi-generational literature, and old-school Kpop. In her spare time, she likes to learn choreographies and catch up with healing K-dramas. She is also pursuing her undergrad degree.