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The BHF: Cocoa & Margarine

On 20th January 2017, the British Heart Foundation tweeted an attack on cocoa.

I didn’t see it until someone brought it to my attention yesterday. I tweeted back the nutritional information for cocoa powder, because it is one of the richest sources of minerals on the planet.

Then I reflected on the irony – or is it ignorance or conflict to be more accurate – of an organisation that promotes Flora margarine while attacking cocoa. So, for the convenience of others, here is cocoa powder vs a standard margarine product. Flora specific nutritional information is here, but that’s just confirming that vitamins A and D have been added (see ingredients) because ‘gunge’ doesn’t come with its own nutrition.

The comparison per 100g is bad enough – a comparison per 100 calories would be even worse.

Why is The British Heart Foundation attacking a natural source of macro and micro nutrients – minerals especially – in favour of industrialised “Water, vegetable oils in varying proportions (45%) (sunflower, linseed, palm and rapeseed), BUTTERMILK, salt (1.4%), emulsifiers (mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids, sunflower lecithin), natural flavouring (contains MILK), preservative (potassium sorbate), citric acid, vitamins A and D, colour (carotene)“?!

(All per 100g of product) Cocoa Margarine
Calories 228 717
Nutrition score 56 4
Protein Quality 90 0
Fat 14 81
Carb 58 1
Protein 20 0
Water/minerals 8 18
A (IU) 0 0
B1 (Thiamin) (mg) 0.1 0
B2 (Riboflavin) (mg) 0.2 0
B3 (Niacin) (mg) 2.2 0
B5 (Pantothenic Acid) (mg) 0.3 0
B6 (mg) 0.1 0
Folic Acid (Folate) (mcg) 32 1
B12 (μg/mcg) 0 0
C (mg) 0 0
D (IU) 0 0
E (mg) 0.1 5.2
K (μg/mcg) 2.5 75
Calcium (mg) 128 3
Copper (mg) 3.8 0
Iron (mg) 13.9 0.1
Magnesium (mg) 499 1
Manganese (mg) 3.8 0
Phosphorus (mg) 734 5
Potassium (mg) 1,524 18
Selenium (mcg) 14.3 0
Sodium (mg) 21 654
Zinc (mg) 6.8 0.1



2 thoughts on “The BHF: Cocoa & Margarine

  • I don’t agree with BHF’s dietary recommendations but in fairness, the type of chocolate that’s eaten by the masses is more sugar and vegetable oil than cocoa and one can but hope that this type of campaign will get some people to reduce their sugar intake (although I expect most would simply replace their chocolate bars with other junk).

  • This is the first time I am coming across this topic with regards to cocoa Vs standard margarine. You asked a great question of why they have decided to launch an attack on a natural source of nutrients in cocoa in favour of an industrialised product – margarine with all sorts of artificial chemicals and preservatives. It does make me wonder is this another case of profit over people’s health? Thank you for providing a great break down of the nutritional constituents of cocoa Vs Margarine. It is a no brainer. I think we are in the era where people need to wake up and start doing their own research and not just jumping on the bandwagon of popular opinions.
    I do really enjoy reading your blog articles and find them very informative indeed! I have just completed my MPH and do have an interest in nutrition and its impact on our general health.
    I have been involved in the child hood obesity forum in my borough which is still an ongoing issue 5-6 years down the line and it still baffles me why there still hasn’t been much improvement observed.
    I am planning to develop health workshops in my local community to raise awareness and empower people to make informed decisions about their health.

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