If the endless chocolates, truffles, and candies that surround us on Valentine’s Day leave you craving a treat but wishing there were a healthier option for your chocolate fix, I’ve got you covered.
58 million pounds of chocolate are purchased during the week of Valentine’s Day, but unfortunately those heart-shaped boxes are commonly made with ingredients such as:
High Fructose Corn Syrup
- a sweet syrup made from processed cornstarch that has been linked to obesity1, diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia. The process of manufacturing high fructose corn syrup is less expensive than table sugar, which is why it is so prevalently used as a sweetener. According to medical doctor Mark Hyman, high fructose corn syrup is also capable of damaging the intestinal lining2, leading to inflammation and leaky gut.
- linked to allergies, hyperactivity, and other related behavioral problems. Also, be aware of “caramel coloring” which sounds more natural than it is. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, this artificial brown coloring is made by reacting sugar with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and temperatures, resulting in the formation of compounds which were shown to cause lung, liver, or thyroid cancer as well as leukemia in laboratory mice during government-conducted studies3.
Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ)
- a food additive used to preserve processed foods and keep them tasting fresh. In a government study, TBHQ increased the incidence of tumors in rats4 and according to the National Library of Medicine, this compound has been found to cause liver enlargement, paralysis, convulsions, and neurotoxic effects5.