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Business

Sweet News About Chocolate Sugar Alternative

Because of how its chocolate is made, Santa Barbara Chocolate has become a local source of chocolate for people who are sugar sensitive and those looking to manage blood sugar levels.

Santa Barbara Chocolate is unusual because it has 68 percent cocoa solids and is sweetened with coconut blossom sugar, a sugar alternative that naturally comes from the coconut tree.

Coconut blossom sugar is a popular sugar alternative because it is considered low glycemic and a healthier option for those watching their sugar intake, according to Jason Vishnefske, co-founder and master chocolatier of Santa Barbara Chocolate Company.

“Most sugar substitutes like maltitol that are used in chocolate make the chocolate taste artificial,” Vishnefske said. “Coconut blossom sugar has a clean and natural sweetness that allows the cocoa flavor to shine.”

“Because our chocolate is high in organic cocoa solids at 68 percent, it has the dark part of the cocoa bean, the cocoa fiber, that all health researchers are talking about when they say dark chocolate is healthy,” Vishnefske said.

Researchers and doctors have noted that to reap the most benefits from dark chocolate, it should be more than 65 percent cacao, Vishnefske said.

Research from the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that even a bite of dark chocolate each day can improve blood flow and bring blood pressure down.

In the research study, cocoa polyphenols were seen to decrease the prevalence rates of hypertension from 86 percent to 68 percent in participants, Vishnefske said.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that cocoa polyphenols were also found to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while raising the antioxidant capacity of good cholesterol (HDL), modestly reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, Vishnefske said.

Santa Barbara’s organic dark chocolate is also gluten, soy and GMO free. The company was founded in 1992. For more information, visit SantaBarbaraChocolate.com.

— Jason Vishnefske for Santa Barbara Chocolate Company.

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