Chocolate Nutrition Facts

Calories in Chocolate and Health Benefits

Gold wrapped chocolate picked from plain ones
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Believe it or not, chocolate can be part of a healthy diet. So if you're trying to lose weight, there's no need to toss out your favorite treats. You can eat chocolate and still lose weight. Just learn to manage the calories in chocolate so that you keep your calorie balance optimized for weight loss.

Chocolate Nutrition Facts

Chocolate Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 bar (43 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 220 
Calories from Fat 117 
Total Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 35mg1%
Carbohydrates 25g9%
Dietary Fiber 1g4%
Sugars 24g 
Protein 3g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 8% · Iron 2%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

A typical chocolate bar provides several hundred calories. As you might expect, it is also a significant source of sugar, carbohydrate, fat and saturated fat.

Chocolate bars and other kinds of candy provide empty calories. Empty calorie foods provide energy primarily in the form of added sugar and unhealthy solid fats such as saturated fat or trans fat. Nutrition experts recommend that you limit your daily intake of empty calorie foods.  Adult women should limit their daily intake to 120-250 empty calories per day. Adult men should limit their intake to 160-330 empty calories per day.

So does that mean you can't enjoy chocolate if you are trying to maintain a healthy diet? No. It just means that you should enjoy chocolate in moderation. The chocolate nutrition facts listed on the label are for a standard-sized Hershey's Milk Chocolate bar. Other chocolate candies have similar calorie counts.

  • A Lindt Milk Chocolate Truffle Ball provides 75 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 6 grams of carbohydrate and 5 grams of sugar.
  • One packet of M&Ms Chocolate Candy provides 240 calories, 10 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 36 grams of carbohydrate and 30 grams of sugar.
  • One serving of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate provides 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 16 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of sugar.
  • One Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate bar provides 216 calories, 14 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 25 grams of carbohydrate and 20 grams of sugar.

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate may provide some limited health benefits. The cocoa bean, from which chocolate is derived, is high in flavonoids. Researchers have linked consumption of flavonoids, to certain heart-healthy benefits. However, scientists advise that more research is needed to say for certain if flavonoids can provide these benefits. 

But not all chocolate is equally healthy. As cocoa beans are processed, the health benefits are minimized. For that reason, you should choose minimally processed chocolate to take advantage of the possible benefits of flavonoids. Usually, the best choice is dark chocolate. But even minimally processed dark chocolate provides sugar and fat, so it should still be consumed in moderation.

Researchers and health experts advise that even though chocolate may provide some health benefits, there is no reason to indulge in or overeat chocolate since it is still a significant source of fat and sugar.

Healthy Ways to Enjoy Chocolate

You can keep chocolate in your healthy diet if you like to enjoy the treat. In fact, you can even eat chocolate if you’re counting calories to slim down. But to keep your calorie balance in control, eat a very small amount. Eat chocolate-covered fruit or have a small cup of skim hot chocolate to satisfy your cravings. And if you can, choose dark chocolate. It has a richer taste and is likely to satisfy your craving with a smaller serving.

What dieters shouldn't do is put a big bowl of chocolate treats on display at home or in the workspace. It's easy to eat too many snack calories if you're always tempted to nibble. Keep your chocolate treats hidden away in a cupboard or on a high shelf so you don't see them all the time. Then take just a single serving when it's time to indulge.

Choosing and Storing Chocolate

It's best to buy chocolate in small quantities because the treat tastes best when it is fresh. Store chocolate in a dark place at room temperature. Do not refrigerate chocolate. 

Chocolate can be frozen although most connoisseurs recommend against it. If you freeze your chocolate make sure that it is tightly wrapped before putting it in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature.

Chocolate Recipes

Sources:

Galleano M, Oteiza PI. Cocoa, chocolate and cardiovascular disease. 54(6). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797556/. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23462053

Higginbotham E, Taub P. Cardiovascular benefits of dark chocolate? Current treatment options in cardiovascular medicine. 2015;17(12). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26456559

Katz DL, et al. Cocoa and chocolate in human health and disease. 2011;15(10). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4696435/.

National Institutes of Health. Claims About Cocoa. News In Health. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/aug2011/feature1. August 2011.

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