Who doesn’t love hearing that chocolate is good for us, especially with Valentine’s Day right around the corner? But don’t run out for that giant heart-shaped box of chocolates just yet. Today we’re getting the inside scoop on what to look for on labels to ensure we’re really getting those health benefits of chocolate, not just a hefty dose of sugar!
5 health benefits of dark chocolate:
- Improved blood pressure | cholesterol | risk of cardiovascular disease | brain function | stress levels
What to look for:
- Products containing at least 70% cocoa
- Cocoa is one of top sources of antioxidant-rich flavonols – but the more processed the cocoa, the lower the flavonol content
Products with COCOA POWDER and UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE at the top of ingredient list. Of all the components of chocolate, natural cocoa powder is the most concentrated source of flavonols. Also, products with at least 70% cocoa.
Choc Zero | Vegan. 2 net carbs per ounce
Per ounce: 120 calories, 10 grams fat, 15 grams carb, 13 grams fiber, 0 sugar
Ingredients include unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, almonds, sea salt, monkfruit extract, vanilla
70% Dark Chocolate Hearts by Divine| Vegan
For one heart: 120 calories, 9 grams fat, 9 grams carb, 2.5 grams fiber, 5.5 grams sugar
Ingredients include Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla
Chocolate Bars | 70+ percent cocoa
- e.g. Acalli 70% dark chocolate (local NOLA company) | Chocolove 77% | Alter Eco 70% cocoa
- approximately 200 calories, 8-15 grams net carbs and 6-9 grams sugar per one ounce serving
Products with DARK CHOCOLATE on the label, without a percent cocoa listed. Most are just 50 to 60 percent cocoa.
- Not really “dark” chocolate; Dove Dark is 60% cocoa according to the company; first ingredient is sugar
- Per 4-heart serving: 170 calories, 19 grams carbs, 15 grams sugar
Products made with MILK CHOCOLATE (10-50% cocoa) and WHITE CHOCOLATE (zero cocoa, therefore zero flavonols); both are typically high in added sugar.
Milk Chocolate Hearts | e.g. Dove Promises, typical heart-shaped chocolates
Dove Milk Chocolate Promises: Per 4-heart serving: 180 calories, 18 grams carbs, 18 grams sugar; first ingredient is sugar
White Chocolate Hearts + Bars
Lindt White Chocolate: Per 3 truffle serving: 230 calories, 15 grams carbs, 15 grams sugar; first ingredient is sugar
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