Not all Dark Chocolate is created equal.
So, you are in the candy isle at the grocery store, and like a little kid, super excited to indulge in this dark chocolate everyone is raving about. So you pick the one that has it all! Maybe some carmel in the center, or a creamy ganache.
You probably don’t even make it home before you rip the label off, and dive right into this decadent chocolate bar. Super excited and happy that you have done your body right, you go about your day, with a huge smile on your face because you are on the right track for a healthy life!
Distinguishing the good from the bad..
A Dark chocolate bar with raspberries. Looks so healthy. Looks amazing. And the ingredient list is small. Not a ton of sugar or calories compared to other dark chocolate bars.
So, I would say this is a good find! The dark chocolate content is a bit low, you usually want to stick with something about 70% or higher.
Lecithin, as you see in the ingredients in dark chocolate. It’s added to many store bought chocolates as an emulsifier. It keeps the cocoa and cocoa butter from separating. Soy lecithin is used in such small amounts in chocolate that it shouldn’t pose any concerns about health effects or quality.
How Much percent of Dark Chocolate should I consume?
Generally, if you pick up a chocolate bar that has 70% or higher dark chocolate, your bound to get the nutritional benefits from it.
A rule of thumb is: the higher the percentage of dark chocolate you consume contains a higher concentration of antioxidants and nutrients compared to chocolate with a lower cocoa percentage.
Consuming chocolate with a higher cocoa content is associated with several health benefits, such as improved heart health and brain function.
What Should I avoid?
There isn’t going to be a chocolate you ‘avoid’ all together. But, if you are looking for the health benefits from chocolate. I would suggest looking for “% of dark chocolate” on the label. A lot of products “trick” us consumers. Here is a prime example;
So as a consumer, we are thinking this looks so delicious! PLUS we are also getting dark chocolate (which is super healthy right now!) Wrong!…
If I were in a hurry, and was looking for a good indulgence dark chocolate bar, this would be it. (It was also on sale!) And I would go to my next stop. WRONG AGAIN!
I want you to take a look at the ingredients however. And unless you really know what you are looking for, you will be deceived and possibly not even know it!
We are looking for the dark chocolate ‘%’ and I see none on here. So I will flip to the back and see what is going on with this bar! 👇
Now you can see clearly, the first ingredient is a dead give away… SUGAR. the Sugar content is 19g (38g per bar).
If you look harder, you will see, there is NO dark chocolate in this bar. although the front of the package had told you. this is a Dark chocolate bar.
These were pictures from a local grocery store. They can be on sale, or full price. But I wasn’t looking at a ‘specialty’ shop or anything that is hard to come by.
So, next time you are shopping for some chocolate, keep in mind what you are looking for!
1. The percentage of dark chocolate on the front. (try for 70% or more).
2. Dark chocolate being the first ingredient.
3. Sugar should never be an ingredient by itself, but in a cocoa powder, or mix)
4. Avoid the ‘extras’ such as carmel, ganache, or creamy. As these will have an excess of sugar and more ingredients, leading away from the dark chocolate benefits.
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