CocoaVia Chocolate Bars

In case you haven’t heard, a new chocolate bar is available called CocoaVia. It is produced by Mars Nutrition for Health & Well-Being, a division of Mars, Inc. The bar is supposed to be a health food and consists of a patented recipe containing cocoa flavanols, plant sterols from soy, calcium, folic acid, and vitamins B6, B12, C, and E.

The bars have lower calories and fat than other chocolate bars, at only 100 calories per serving and 6 grams of fat. The company suggests people should eat two CocoaVia bars per day as part of a healthy diet, but of course many health experts dispute that claim. Two CocoaVia bars per day would be 200 calories and 12 grams of fat. If you add that to your current diet without subtracting 200 calories somewhere else, you’ll gain 20 pounds per year.

I’m not a big fan of altering foods and adding nutrients to them. Dark chocolate by itself, eaten in moderation, is a healthy food. You can get the flavanols and other nutrients in CocoaVia from other foods. I also think the way the company is marketing the chocolate is hilarious. They say on their web site that “you should consume two portions of CocoaVia™ snacks every day” to get the intended heart benefits.

What a marketing ploy! Yes, if we all consumed two CocoaVia bars every day we’d have healthier hearts, bigger waistlines, and Mars, Inc. executives would break their hands with all the high fives they’d be doing.

This is the funniest part from the FAQ section of their site:

Q: If I forget to eat my CocoaVia™ snack in the morning, can I eat twice as much in the evening to make up the difference?

A: Yes, you can enjoy CocoaVia™ snacks all at once. However, the phytosterols work best when consumed in spaced intervals with other foods as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. If you forget to eat one portion of CocoaVia™ product, you should resume your regular regimen the following day.

Wow, really? So if I miss a “dose” of CocoaVia I can just resume my regimen the next day? Wow, great to know! I was afraid if I missed a dose I might get sick or something. Thanks, Mars, Inc!

So, the bottom line is that if you currently consume two Hershey bars per day replacing them with two CocoaVia bars is probably a healthier option. For the rest of us, there’s nothing wrong with eating a CocoaVia bar now and then for a sweet snack. Just don’t buy into the ridiculous marketing hype of this product and think you have to get two servings per day.

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