Since not all chocolate is good for you, it’s important to make smart choices when eating chocolate. Remember the following when shopping for the healthiest chocolate:
- Cocoa — Cocoa is what gives chocolate all its health benefits which means the higher the level of cocoa, the better for you. Stick with chocolate that has at least 70 percent cocoa content to take advantage of the health benefits.
- Processing — Too much processing strips cocoa of its nutrients, so choose minimally processed chocolate. One example of this is cocoa powder without Dutch processing.
- Ingredients — Additional ingredients can turn a healthy treat into an unhealthy fat or sweet. Check out the ingredient list before eating chocolate. Listed by predominant elements, the first item in the list is the most abundant. Make sure cocoa is at the front of the list, ahead of oil, sugar, and other added ingredients.
- Cocoa Butter – The only fat in the list of ingredients should be cocoa butter. This is the fat that is naturally occurring in the cacao bean itself, and t is not technically chocolate if it does not contain both cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is what gives chocolate a smooth, clean mouthfeel and is healthier than other oils sometimes substituted in lesser quality chocolates.
By choosing your chocolate indulgence carefully and in moderated quantity, you can savor and enjoy it guilt free!