Healthy chocolate
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Healthy Chocolate

Let’s talk about ‘healthy’ chocolate.

Recently I picked up a bar of chocolate when shopping in Aldi. The only thought that I put towards the choice was that it sounded nice. Colombian milk chocolate with coconut and Himalayan Salt. And I was right. What I failed to notice were its seemingly ‘healthy’ credentials. For some seeing that this chocolate had ‘No added sugar’ maybe the deciding factor in making that purchase without looking further. Take a closer look and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll see.

I happened to have a bar of Dairy Milk in the pantry. This bar is 18g and it’s proper Dairy Milk. The ‘healthy’ chocolate is 25g, so only 7 grams difference.

The nutritional panels comparison is where it really get interesting! The ‘healthy’ chocolate is higher in calories and fat (double the saturated fat of Dairy Milk incidentally) – see images for details. To its credit it is lower in sugar, but when you consider that if you’re looking to consume less calories to achieve a deficit to lose fat, by choosing the Diary Milk you will consume 49 fewer calories, not to mention consume less saturated fat.

If you want to enjoy chocolate as a treat, then check the credentials of the seemingly ‘healthier’ option.

The Colombian chocolate is delicious, but I have it on the basis that it tastes nice, not that it’s supposedly the ‘guilt-free’ option.

A word on chocolate with health benefits

Gram for gram, cocoa has the highest concentration of polyphenols and flavonoids of any food so in terms of chocolate we’re talking about Dark Chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids. Even though Dark Chocolate is linked with health benefits, it should still be consumed in moderation. Dark chocolate contains 12 milligrams of caffeine per ounce so it’s not something you want to be enjoying late at night.

Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. They’re packed with antioxidants and potential health benefits. It’s thought that polyphenols can improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases.

Flavonoids are various compounds found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. They’re also in plant products like wine, tea, and chocolate. There are six different types of flavonoids found in food, and each kind is broken down by your body in a different way. They are rich in antioxidant activity and can help your body ward off everyday toxins. Including more flavonoids in your diet is a great way to help your body stay healthy and potentially decrease your risk of some chronic health conditions.

Remember, there is no such thing as free food.

There is value to all food, in terms of enjoyment and to the amount of energy it provides.

I recently tried a No Added Sugar chocolate from Aldi. Click here to see what I thought in this extensive product review.