healthy hot cocoa hot chocolate

Hidden Dangers: Snuggling up by the fire with a hot cup of cocoa — what a wonderful way to thaw a frosty winter chill! But before you stir in an instant hot chocolate packet this winter, think twice. Along with the savory chocolate, you’ll get trans fatty acids, artificial flavors and sugars, GMOs, preservatives and hard-to-digest dairy and casein – more than you bargained for, no doubt. These toxic ingredients are known to lead to more than just a sugar high, so ditch those conventional packets to keep your health on track.

What you should avoid: Similar to most pre-made and packaged foods, instant hot chocolate is made with trans fatty acids (also labeled as partially hydrogenated oil), which are known to raise bad (LDL) cholesterol, increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease, strokes and heart attacks, and cause metabolic syndrome and obesity. The next ingredient to avoid is corn syrup. Made with genetically modified corn, this sugary syrup can cause diabetes, and may lead to infertility, and cancer. Just like corn, non-organic sugar is also a GMO food, believed to damage the liver and kidney. Finally, ditch the artificial flavors and sugars, including sucralose and acesulfame potassium. These fake sugars made with chemicals can cause weight gain and sugar cravings and may lead to bladder cancer, blurred vision and neurological issues.

Avoid: Partially hydrogenated oil (trans fats), corn syrup, non-organic sugar, artificial flavors and sugars (sucralose and acesulfame potassium)

Here’s what to do: Go traditional by keeping it simple. Buy instant cocoa mixes made with unsweetened cocoa (chocolate or cacao) and organic sugar, that are free of the other chemical additives and toxic fats. Also consider using a superfood powder made with cacao. There are many to choose from that contain adaptogenic herbs, roots and nutrient-dense foods to boost your hot chocolate drinking experience. These superfood chocolate powders taste just like the real thing, and can help improve energy, relieve stress, balance hormones and strengthen immunity!

TCM Picks: Divine Cocoa Powder, Philosophie Cacao Magic, Coco Mojo Energy Elixir, Xoco Blue

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