Some food brands, at times, take advantage of the lack of consumer awareness. I was watching a youtube video recently only to stumble upon an ad made by a food brand which made chocolate sweetened with dates (no sugar). Like the Mac and PC ads that run in the US, the brand rep asked a chocolate mascot how dark was she. She responded, 70% Dark. The brand rep followed by asking, what is the balance 30%? The mascot shies aways and whispers under her breath "sugar". Very cleverly shot but lets take a closer look.
First things first. A neutral sugar (cane or beet) is required to highlight the cacao characteristics of any origin. Ask any bean to bar maker and they will confirm this. A sugar that adds to/ overpowers the characteristics of cacao, such as dates, palm sugar or coconut sugar is unwanted and truly negates the need to make single origin bean to bar chocolate.
Secondly, the Glycemic Index (GI) of sugar is 65.
Guess what is the GI of dates??...43 (still pretty high and not recommended for diabetics)
Calories in sugar per 100g is 387
Guess the amount of calories per 100g in dates??.. 282 (about 105 less than sugar, but still high).
So as a consumer if you think you are consuming way more calories in a bar of chocolate containing sugar as compared to one which has dates, think again. Know what you are eating, read the label and make an informed decision.
At Pascati, we never have marketed this as a heath brand/product. It was always sold as a luxury/indulgent product. However, in my personal opinion, when a brand tries to position themselves as a healthy alternative, which in this case to an extent it is, it does paint a picture that a bar of chocolate sweetened with dates is absolutely "ok" for you to consume without addressing the GI or Calories involved.
Its upto the consumer to educated themsleves but through this blog post I'm adding my bit to create awareness.