Betty Kamen’s Take on Chocolate & Magnesium

I receive Betty Kamen’s daily Nutrition Hints. (And so can you. Go to for more information.) While I was away on a trip and away from my computer, one of the daily hints was about magnesium. Here it is:

Hint 2283: “Higher consumption of whole grains should be promoted based on research that indicates that whole grains lower the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as other chronic diseases.

The FDA permits foods containing at least 51 percent whole grains by weight — and also low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol — to carry a health claim that links them to a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Whole grains are a rich source of magnesium. Higher consumption of magnesium-rich foods, particularly whole grain products, is associated with a lower risk of type-2 diabetes.”

After reading this hint I sent Betty the following question:
“Betty, Raw chocolate is high in magnesium, so would you say it is good for lowering the risk (of diabetes) so long as it has little or no sugar added?”

This was Betty’s answer:
“No, I would not say that the same is true for raw chocolate. Magnesium requires other nutrients that help with its absorption. Do you really mean raw chocolate? That’s usually far too bitter for consumption. (Note that when you buy a bar of chocolate, it will say: 50% cocoa, or 70% cocoa, or 80% cocoa, but never 100% cocoa.) Surely you would agree that a bowl of whole-grain cereal is healthier than chocolate, even raw chocolate. And an apple picked from a tree is healthier than the whole-grain cereal that sits in a box on a shelf, and then requires cooking — which of course destroys more nutrients.”

Well, folks, you heard it straight from a well-known nutritionist, so I am putting chocolate, except totally raw chocolate, on my list of “treat” foods, but now with less guilt than I did before I researched the value of (raw) chocolate. Thanks, Betty!

2 Responses to “Betty Kamen’s Take on Chocolate & Magnesium”

  1. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Since I am a nutrition educator and not a dietitian, I hesitate to suggests supplements, even though I use them.
    thanx, ellensue

  2. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Thanx! es

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