Healthy Chocolate: Get the Benefits Without the Guilt!
There’s no denying that chocolate is one of the most popular – if not the most popular – treats in the world. It’s loved not only for its distinct and indulgent flavor, but also for its versatility in how it can be enjoyed and consumed. From a piping hot mug of cocoa, to an ice cream topping, to a clever ingredient used in mole and other sauces, chocolate has become a staple in most kitchens today. However, for those who have committed to healthier snacking, chocolate may seem off limits as most traditional chocolate treats are higher in sugar, calories, and processed ingredients.
Well, we have some good news! Healthy chocolate options are out there, allowing you to get some amazing benefits without any of the guilt!
What is Chocolate?
You may know how good it tastes, but you may not know exactly how chocolate is made. It starts with cacao beans which, while loaded with many potential health benefits, are naturally very bitter. To create chocolate’s extremely palatable taste, the beans are fermented, then dried, cleaned, and roasted before becoming liquified into “chocolate liquor”. From there, the liquor may be cooled and is combined with other ingredients to create whatever final product is being developed. For example, traditional milk chocolate is made with milk, sugar, and cocoa solids to deliver its sweet, soft, and creamy flavor.
What Are the Health Benefits of Chocolate?
Because most traditional chocolate snacks are high in sugar, calories, and artificial ingredients, it tends to get a bad reputation when it comes to health and wellness. However, with cacao beans as the main ingredient, chocolate is actually packed with some amazing health benefits:
- It contains flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- It has been shown to have a positive impact on mood by helping to release endorphins.
- It has the potential to improve cognitive function, according to clinical studies.
- It has the potential to help lower bad cholesterol, according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition.
Now, these are some pretty great health benefits! But that doesn’t mean that you should choose just any treat when your chocolate cravings come around – because not all chocolate snacks are created equal.
Choosing Healthy Chocolate Snacks
So, how can chocolate lovers get the flavor they want with the added health benefits mentioned above – while staying on track with healthy snacking goals?
- Look for snacks that pair chocolate with healthier ingredients. For example, our own EVER BETTER™ Brownie Bliss! Protein Bites are made with delicious and nutritious ingredients so you can indulge in a familiar childhood favorite flavor without any guilt. We combine chocolate chips with almonds, sea salt, and other healthy ingredients like energy-boosting protein and gut-friendly probiotics for an indulgent healthy chocolate snack you can feel good about.
- Read the nutritional labels. You want to watch out for snacks that are low in protein but high in net carbs and sugars. For example, our EVER BETTER™ Brownie Bliss! Protein Bites have 6g of protein, 4g net carbs and 6g sugar, compared to typical cookie bites with 1g protein, 20g net carbs and 12g sugar.*
So, the next time your sweet tooth comes calling, go ahead and indulge in a healthy chocolate snack that delivers on flavor and the amazing benefits of chocolate! Remember – You Deserve It!
*Net carbs are calculated by subtracting total fiber, allulose, and sugar alcohols from total carbs.