How healthy is dark chocolate?

So I have at least 60-100g of dark chocolate per day. I'm wondering if it can be considered as a health food or is it more of a treat? What do you think?

Replies

  • chris89topher
    chris89topher Posts: 384 Member
    I usually have some dark chocolate almost every night. Probably more of a treat type of thing. What kind do you eat? I prefer the vegan variety like Lily's or Enjoy Life, but also like the dark Hershey Kisses.
  • Mellouk89
    Mellouk89 Posts: 469 Member
    edited December 2021
    Always 70% organic dark chocolate from Theobroma. Sometimes i'll go 80% cacao, but 70% tastes better.
  • AZAlyssa
    AZAlyssa Posts: 19 Member
    I like 80% or higher and usually eat about 5-10 grams at a time, which is about 2 pieces of my favorite dark chocolate from Trader Joe's. I don't eat it as a health food, though. It's an "extra" in my overall diet and I treat it as such.

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate

    One of my favorite ways to eat dark chocolate is to pair it with almond butter and a bit of sea salt.
  • Redordeadhead
    Redordeadhead Posts: 1,188 Member
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    So I have at least 60-100g of dark chocolate per day. I'm wondering if it can be considered as a health food or is it more of a treat? What do you think?

    At that quantity, I would consider it an indulgent treat. I do love dark chocolate, if you can fit it into your calorie allowance without drowning out other foods then go for it!
  • BarbaraHelen2013
    BarbaraHelen2013 Posts: 1,859 Member
    At around 600 cals per 100g I agree that it’s an indulgent treat (with very little nutritional value), so not what I’d consider a healthy use of a pretty large chunk of most peoples daily calories.

    I’m curious as to why you might consider it a ‘health food’?

    Really drives home the point of terms like ‘healthy’, ‘clean’ etc being useless when referring to dietary intake!
  • Mellouk89
    Mellouk89 Posts: 469 Member
    edited December 2021
    At around 600 cals per 100g I agree that it’s an indulgent treat (with very little nutritional value), so not what I’d consider a healthy use of a pretty large chunk of most peoples daily calories.

    I’m curious as to why you might consider it a ‘health food’?

    Really drives home the point of terms like ‘healthy’, ‘clean’ etc being useless when referring to dietary intake!

    My calorie intake is 3500-4000 on most days so for me it's really not that much.

    I say health food but i'm really talking about nutrient density whether it's fiber content, vitamins, minerals or antioxidants.

    Dark chocolate does seem to be somewhat high in minerals :

    https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/10638/2

    It has fiber and antioxidants also. So i'm questioning if it could be considered as a nutrient dense food.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,621 Member
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    So I have at least 60-100g of dark chocolate per day. I'm wondering if it can be considered as a health food or is it more of a treat? What do you think?

    It doesn't matter how healthy a food is, the calories still get counted by your body. I'm anemic. I T of certain brands of blackstrap molasses provide 20% of my iron RDA. Sure, I could have 5 T of this molasses for 100 % RDA, but that would not be balancing my diet well.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,888 Member
    The higher the Cocoa the better the nutritional value. It's really very nutritious and I do a couple squares of 85% most evenings for desert for about 150 calories. Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols. These flavanols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and free radical scavenging properties. Dark chocolate has also been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as anti-hypertensive properties and prevention of blood clots, though more needs to be studied there.
  • Lietchi
    Lietchi Posts: 4,027 Member
    If you want the health benefits of cacao, I would suggest cacao nibs. Very bitter on their own, but I quite like them as an addition to, for example, skyr with banana.
    I highly doubt you'd want to eat 60-100 grams of cacao nibs though 😉

    Chocolate definitely seems more like a treat to me, albeit a treat that isn't totally devoid of nutritional value (dark chocolate especially). Being a treat, it's going to depend on the rest of your diet, whether or not it's a good idea or not. I'd be especially mindful of the saturated fat content - making sure you consume enough unsaturated fats.
  • Mellouk89
    Mellouk89 Posts: 469 Member
    edited December 2021
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    The higher the Cocoa the better the nutritional value. It's really very nutritious and I do a couple squares of 85% most evenings for desert for about 150 calories. Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols. These flavanols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and free radical scavenging properties. Dark chocolate has also been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease as well as anti-hypertensive properties and prevention of blood clots, though more needs to be studied there.

    A very good article about the subject of dark chocolate :

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/25/chocolate-the-dark-truth-is-it-good-for-you-health-wellbeing-blood-pressure-flavanols

    «Such studies have generated hundreds of media reports that exaggerate their findings, and omit key details and caveats. Crucially, most recent research has used much higher levels of flavanols than are available in commercial snack products. For example, the blood pressure study involved participants getting an average of 670mg of flavanols. Someone would need to consume about 12 standard 100g bars of dark chocolate or about 50 of milk chocolate per day to get that much. The European Food Safety Authority has approved one rather modest chocolate-related health claim – that some specially processed dark chocolate, cocoa extracts and drinks containing 200mg of flavanols “contribute to normal blood circulation” by helping to maintain blood vessel elasticity».
  • Mellouk89
    Mellouk89 Posts: 469 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    If you want the health benefits of cacao, I would suggest cacao nibs. Very bitter on their own, but I quite like them as an addition to, for example, skyr with banana.
    I highly doubt you'd want to eat 60-100 grams of cacao nibs though 😉

    Chocolate definitely seems more like a treat to me, albeit a treat that isn't totally devoid of nutritional value (dark chocolate especially). Being a treat, it's going to depend on the rest of your diet, whether or not it's a good idea or not. I'd be especially mindful of the saturated fat content - making sure you consume enough unsaturated fats.

    I haven't seen those in any grocery stores, i'll have to order them online.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,823 Member
    Lietchi wrote: »
    If you want the health benefits of cacao, I would suggest cacao nibs. Very bitter on their own, but I quite like them as an addition to, for example, skyr with banana.
    I highly doubt you'd want to eat 60-100 grams of cacao nibs though 😉

    Chocolate definitely seems more like a treat to me, albeit a treat that isn't totally devoid of nutritional value (dark chocolate especially). Being a treat, it's going to depend on the rest of your diet, whether or not it's a good idea or not. I'd be especially mindful of the saturated fat content - making sure you consume enough unsaturated fats.

    Comment on nibs: IME, source/brand matters. (Yes, dear readers, I know some are chocolate coated so taste different - I'm talking plain, raw nibs.)

    I've had some cacao nibs that were very bitter and sort of dried-out tasting, and others that had more of a "wine-y" complex character, with a little bitterness, but some other notes of richness, acid, and . . . je ne sais quoi.

    Now, I like bitter things (high IBU IPA**, anyone? 😉). But I think the wine-y tasting ones are much nicer. Brands and sources may vary. (I'd be more specific, but it's been a while since I bought any. I remember noticing a dramatic difference, but not which source was IMO better, sorry.)

    ** IPA is not a healthy food. Going to keep consuming it occasionally anyway.

    Generic comment: I don't really get the "Is X a healthy food" (or in this case "how healthy is X food") questions. There are a few foods/ingredients that are objectively and individually not healthful (hydrogenated oils, alcohol, . . . ).

    In most cases, though, what matters is dosage and context. Most foods have some positive nutritional attributes. Whether those attributes may make it "healthy" to consume those foods an any given quantity is going to depend on what other things the person is eating, what their nutritional needs (or habitual gaps) are, sometimes even on aspects of their habits and lifestyle (thinking of endurance athletes and pure sugar here). On the flip side, mono-diets (or near to it) are IMO generically bad, no matter how "healthy" the over-dosed food(s).

    To me, it makes sense to ask whether chocolate has any positive nutritional attributes or other benefits (situational or otherwise). Maybe that's what OP meant?

    P.S. If people want some of the cacao benefits, IMO a tasty and quite modest calorie thing is to use plain cocoa/cacao powder (unsweetened) as an ingredient in some savory foods. You may know of that idea from South/Central American moles, but there are other options. It adds richness and complexity, in a subtle way, to hearty soups, stews, barbecue sauces, tomato sauces of other types, etc. In the right quantity, it doesn't taste "chocolate-y", so much as adding some umami richness. I like about a tablespoon per (big) serving of soups and such, but others may prefer less. Start with less, increase gradually. Be sure to cook it, as it tastes better cooked than raw.
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,041 Member
    If it 'fits' in your calories and you're not lacking other nutritional needs because of it, call it whatever you want.
  • Speakeasy76
    Speakeasy76 Posts: 960 Member
    I've actually started drinking Crio Bru ground cacao beans in place of my morning coffee. I've cut my caffeine consumption in half and my headaches have improved a ton
    ..hardly get any anymore. Anyway, don't know what the health benefits are, but I actually prefer the taste to coffee.

    I don't know how healthy dark chocolate is, but ai do lay attention to the ingredients. For me, the less sugar the better, which means at least 72%. I also avoid milk in mine as well. Trader Joe's has a nice selection for a reasonable cost.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    edited December 2021
    are you serious? :D:D:D

    you know what they say about opinions, i guess...

    heavens to betsy...

  • Theoldguy1
    Theoldguy1 Posts: 2,270 Member
    Big stretch to call it a health food, especially 600 calories worth.