Xocai produces a line of dark chocolates, which the company calls healthy chocolate because they’re rich sources of antioxidants. You only need to worry about serious side effects if you have food allergies. Otherwise, the biggest concern is the risk of packing on a few pounds due to calories and added sugar.
Xocai Chocolate Overview
When cacao beans are turned into cocoa solids, they’re fermented, dried and roasted. At each step, some of the bean’s natural antioxidant flavonoids are lost. Xocai uses a cold process to produce chocolate that retains as much of the antioxidant content as possible.
The amount of antioxidants in food is tested and rated on the ORAC scale, which stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. One of the products, Xocai Nuggets, has an ORAC score of 75,456 in a 36-gram serving. Alkalized chocolate powder, or Dutch-processed cocoa, has about one-fifth that amount, reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The five main Xocai chocolate products all contain soy, so if you’re allergic to soy you’ll have to take a pass. Two products -- Xocai Omega and Xocai Peanut Butter Cups -- contain milk. If you’re allergic to milk proteins or lactose-intolerant, be sure to avoid them. The peanuts in the peanut butter cups can cause a serious reaction if you have nut allergies.
The Xocai chocolates are produced in a facility that also makes products containing milk, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat. Because this opens the door to cross-contamination, you may not be able to eat Xocai chocolate if you’re allergic to any of those ingredients.
High in Calories
Even healthy dark chocolate is high in calories, which will contribute to weight gain if you eat too much. Be sure to include any calories from chocolate in your daily intake. A 36-gram serving of Xocai Nuggets has 210 calories, while a 33-gram portion of either Omega Squares or XoBiotic has 190 calories and 170 calories, respectively.
Two products have fewer calories per serving, but the serving size is also much smaller. One Xocai Peanut Butter Cup, which is the recommended serving, only weighs 14 grams and has 80 calories. The X Power Squares also have a smaller serving size of 18 grams and contain 100 calories.
Dark chocolate is naturally free of sugar and bitter-tasting, so most producers, including Xocai, add sugar. It’s important to track the amount of added sugar you eat because excess sugar in your blood is converted to fat and can boost levels of triglycerides. It also contributes to weight gain and heart disease.
The peanut butter cups have 2.5 grams of sugar per serving, X Power Squares contain 5 grams, and the other three products have 7 grams to 9 grams in a serving. By comparison, 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar has 4 grams of sugar.
Women should consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar daily, while men should get 37 grams or less, recommends the American Heart Association.
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Sandi Busch received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, then pursued training in nursing and nutrition. She taught families to plan and prepare special diets, worked as a therapeutic support specialist, and now writes about her favorite topics – nutrition, food, families and parenting – for hospitals and trade magazines.