The Chocolate Bar in the Health Food Aisle

The New York Times has a big story in today's business section about a candy bar from Mars that is dressed up with some supplements to allegedly be something we should all eat two of every day to keep our hearts healthy.

I'm not a scientist (or a doctor--as you'll see at the top of the post, this is Henry writing, not Dr. Fuhrman), but I'm just betting that if this product went head to head with something low-tech like apples in long-term trials, the apples would win hands down.

Or, to put it another way, if your primary concern is defeating heart disease, it's hard to imagine what kind of research you'd do to end up with a candy bar, a product that is famously comprised of dairy fat and refined sugar. On the other hand, if your primary concern is selling chocolate bars...

A blog called "Jeff's blog" has some funny perspective on the new product, which is called "CocoaVia."

"Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the world, and chocolate is the No. 1 favorite ingredient in the world," said Jim Cass, Mars's vice president of marketing. "When you put those two giant macro trends together, we know this is a big idea."

...I can just imagine the boardroom meeting that launched this. 12 suits sitting around looking at different charts. Too bad they didn't try to make a hybrid-SUV with chocolate steering wheels.

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Robin K - October 31, 2005 4:05 PM

On the other hand...for those of us who absolutely crave and LOVE chocolate, though eating the healthiest of foods as Dr. Furhman recommends, perhaps there is a place for this new bar. Or if not this bar a nice 1 oz serving of Dove's Dark Chocolate or Organic Dark Chocolate. Some health practioners, such as Andrew Weil, do support eating dark chocolate a few times a week for the flavenols (sp?). Cocoavia? Willhavetoseea...

Susan - November 4, 2005 10:41 AM

I think we have to approach chocolate-eating with extreme caution. Americans already consume huge amounts of chocolate but are among the sickest people in the world. They like to have good reasons to continue their unhealthful habits and the candy makers will be there to accommodate them. We have a history of taking a potentially healthful food and junkifying it so that its healthful benefits are neutralized or destroyed. We've done it with wheat (corn flakes), corn (corn chips), soy (soy flakes, chips, bars, etc), and potatoes (french fries). Chocolate, the way it is manufactured for the masses and eaten by the masses, with lots of unhealthy fat and sugar, is just more junk food. It could well be what is on the thick waistlines of some prominent doctors who love to dish out health advice. On the other hand, eating some raw, unprocessed chocolate, as Dr. Fuhrman recommends, with some sweet dates, raw nuts and seeds, and other healthful foods gives chocolate a chance for its healthful benefits to work.

Robin K - November 7, 2005 10:21 AM

There's no mention of Dr. Fuhrman's advice when it comes to chocolate in Eat To Live. Can someone please tell me what he specifically states regarding chocolate for someone who is following his eating plan? How can it be worked in? Is organic, dark chocolate still too processed? If so, is there a viable option? Would love to know, since I'm following all other advice in the book don't want to give chocolate up forever. Thank you!

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