Dark Chocolate Nutrition

“I have been eating my dark chocolate. You know, it is healthy for you.”

 This is a common statement we hear from many of our patients. Well, it is true, dark chocolate (75-80% cocoa) is a rich source of antioxidants (containing more than milk or white chocolate), and the fat present in dark chocolate is metabolically neutral.

Studies have demonstrated a small amount of dark chocolate every day can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure and can reduce LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by up to 10%. The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in arteries and cause a small, but statistically significant, decrease in blood pressure.

Other benefits of dark chocolate, aside from protecting your heart, include:

  • It stimulate endorphin (“happy” hormone) production
  • It contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
  • Cocoa is rich in fiber and protein. Just smelling 85% dark chocolate, people reported their appetite levels dropped by half.
  • Improves skin condition, and helps protect against UV damage
  • It tastes good

This does not mean you can eat a pound of dark chocolate a day. Chocolate is a high calorie, high fat food.  Most of the studies done use no more than 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day to get these benefits.  If you gain 10 pounds, become pre-diabetic, and are gaining abdominal fat (bigger waistline), then this is not healthy for you.

One bar of dark chocolate can contain up to 400 calories. If you eat half the bar of dark chocolate for the day, you still have to balance out those extra 200 calories by eating less of something else. It’s like life – everything in moderation.  Enjoy the present pleasures in such a way that you do not injure future opportunities.

NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR DARK CHOCOLATES

 

CHOCOLATE – 1.5 OZ

(1 SERVING)

% COCOA CALORIES PER SERVING

SUGAR

Vivani Feine Bitter

92%

343

4 g

Pascha

85%

260

7 g

Godiva Dark Santo Domingo

85%

276

5.3 g

Lindt Extra Dark Chocolate

85%

230

5 g

Stone Ground Chocolate

80%

220

8 g

Trader Joe’s Cacao Super Dark

73%

232

18 g

Dove Dark Chocolate

60%

223

19 g

Hershey Dark Kisses

60%

187

22 g

Hershey Miniatures Special Dark

45%

207

18 g