Healthier living

Chocolate-like products. How are they different from regular chocolate and why can they harm us?

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Chocolate-like products are not only less tasty than real chocolate but are also far more harmful to our health.

Such products have little in common with real chocolate, which is made from cocoa mass, cocoa fat, sugar and various additives. As a result chocolate contains from 70 to even 90% cocoa, while in chocolate-like products cocoa does not exceed 8% of their total weight. The fact that this makes them cheaper may be tempting, but the full composition should keep us away from them.

Harmful vegetable fats

Chocolate-like products are easy to recognize – they don’t smell like cocoa and are softer than real chocolate. They contain palm oil or refined canola oil, and are full of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives to help achieve chocolate-like taste effects and texture.

Before buying any chocolate, especially from an unknown manufacturer, we should check the ingredients. Pseudo-chocolate is full of hydrogenated vegetable fats (trans fats), which increase the risk of cancer. They also increase the level of bad cholesterol, may cause obesity, impair memory, and promote diabetes and heart disease.

Chocolate-like products are often found in the form of seasonal sweets, such as Christmas miracles and Easter eggs. And although they may tempt with a low price, it is better to reach for a more expensive product and be sure that you are eating real chocolate full of useful and nutritious ingredients.

main photo: Charisse Kenyon/

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