Chocolate Nutrition FAQ
The Sweet Truth About Chocolate
Chocolate is America's favorite flavor. But myths about chocolate abound, perhaps in
the mistaken belief that anything that tastes good must be bad for you. Here are some
answers to questions most frequently asked by consumers about our products.
Is chocolate high in saturated fat, the fat that raises blood cholesterol levels?
It once was believed that all dietary saturated fats increased blood cholesterol levels.
Not any more. Recent studies have shown that stearic acid, one of the primary saturated
fats found in chocolate, behaves differently than other saturated fats. In fact, recent
studies show that stearic acid has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol levels.
Does chocolate contain high levels of cholesterol?
A 1.55 ounce Hershey's milk chocolate bar contains only 10 milligrams of cholesterol,
all of which comes from the milk used in the milk chocolate. An 8-ounce glass of whole
milk, for comparison purposes, has about 36 milligrams of cholesterol. Hershey's cocoa
and Hershey's unsweetened baking chocolate have no cholesterol.
Is chocolate high in caffeine?
A 1.55 ounce Hershey's milk chocolate bar contains only 9 milligrams of caffeine.
This compares to 137 milligrams of caffeine in a 5-ounce cup of regular automatic drip
coffee, 30-46 milligrams in a 12-ounce can of regular cola beverage, and about 3
milligrams in a 5-ounce cup of instant decaffeinated coffee.
Does chocolate promote tooth decay?
Tooth decay is a food-related disease. Sugars, as a group, play a role in tooth decay, as
do most foods. Tooth decay occurs for a variety of reasons, including: genetic makeup,
lack of good oral hygeine, food lingering in the mouth, consistency of the food and the
frequence of consumption. Less well known is the fact that chocolate promotes less
tooth decay than do crackers, raisins or granola bars. Chocolate actually appears to
modify the cavity-causing potential of its sugar. It contains a component that blocks the
production of plaque, the first stage of tooth decay. In addition, the cocoa butter in
chocolate melts quickly and helps to clear the mouth, thereby reducing the potential to
Is chocolate high in sodium?
A 1.55 ounce Hershey's milk chocolate bar contains only 40 milligarms of sodium.
Much higher amounts of sodium are found in other processed foods such as an ounce
of cheddar cheese (198 milligrams) and a slice of whole wheat bread (132 milligrams).
Are many people allergic to chocolate?
Very few people are truly allergic to chocolate. Less than two percent of the
population have true food allergies. True food allergens that might be in chocolate bars
are milk, nuts and soybeans. If you are allergic to any of these foods, read ingredient
listings or contact us for information regarding which of our products contain these
Does chocolate cause hyperactivity in children?
Many studies, including the Food and Drug Administration's "An Evaluation of
Health Aspects of Sugars Contained in Carbohydrate Sweeteners" (1986), have
concluded that there is no scientific evidence to link sugar to hyperactivity. In fact, sugar
has been shown to have a calming effect because it increases a compound in the brain
involved in sleep.
What is the whitish color or streaking that sometimes appears on chocolate?
Temperatures of 78 degrees F. or more cause chocolate to melt and the cocoa butter in
it to rise to the surface. If this happens, you will see a whitish appearance on the surface
of the chocolate known as cocoa butter "bloom." Ordinarily, this has no effect on quality.
However, prolonged exposure of the chocolate to excessive heat may cause further
discoloration of the product and loss of flavor.
Copyright © 1995 Hershey Foods Corporation